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North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Issued Quarterly 

Volume XXXI Numbers 1-4 


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Published by 


Corner of Edenton and Salisbury streets 

Raleigh, N. C. 


Published by the State Department of Archives and History 

Raleigh, N. C. 

Christopher Crittenden, Editor 
David Leroy Corbitt, Managing Editor 

Walter Clinton Jackson Hugh Talmage Lefler 

Frontis Withers Johnston Douglas LeTell Rights 

George Myers Stephens 



McDaniel Lewis, Chairman 

Gertrude Sprague Carraway William Thomas Laprade 

Clarence W. Griffin Mrs. Sadie Smathers Patton 

Josh L. Horne Mrs. Callie Pridgen Williams 

Christopher Crittenden, Director 

This review was tstahlished in January-, 192b, as a medium of publication 
and discussion of hisicry in North Carolina. It is issued to other institutions 
by exchange, but to the general public by subscription only. The regular 
price is $2.00 per year. Members of the State Literary and Historical As- 
sociation, for which the annual dues are $3.00, receive this publication 
without further payment. Back numbers may be procured at the regular 
price of $2.00 per volume, or $.50 per number. 

i i 

The North Carolina 
Historical Review 




C. 0. Cathey 



Joseph H. Taylor 


Lawrence S. Thompson 


C. A. Weslager 



Philip M. Rice 



Hugh Buckner Johnston, Jr. 


Wagstaff's Wiley Buck and Other Stories of the Con- 
cord Community— By Weymouth T. Jordan; Sass's 
Outspoken, 150 Years of The News and Courier— By 
Edgar E. Folk; Patrick's Savannah's Pioneer Thea- 
ter from Its Origins to 1 810— By Donald J. Rulfs; 
Graff's Mandarin on the St. Johns— By William S. 
Powell; Klingberg's and Klingberg's The Corre- 
spondence Between Henry Stephens Randall and 
Hugh Blair Grigshy, 1856-1861-By Richard E. 
Yates; Gluckman's and Satterlee's American Gun 



iv Contents 

Makers— By Dorothy R. Phillips; Nash's Hills- 
boro: Colonial and Revolutionary— By Paul Mur- 
ray; Jenning's 20 Giants of American Business— By 
C. K. Brown. 


NUMBER 2, APRIL, 1954 



Donald J. Rulfs 



Marjorie Mendenhall Applewhite 

IN RECONSTRUCTION, 1865-1873 150 

Charles W. Turner 


J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton 



Christopher Crittenden 



Henry S. Stroupe 



Hoke Norris 



Richard Walser 


Contents v 





Frontis W. Johnston 


Allan Nevins 


Mary Lindsay Thornton 


Reid's Gubernatorial Campaigns and Administrations 
of David S. Reid, 1848-1854-By Sarah McCulloh 
Lemmon; W 7 ilson's and Lefler's A Documentary 
History of the University of North Carolina, 1776- 
1799— By Philip D. Jordan; Lefler's and Wager's 

Orange County - 1752-1952 — By Marvin W. 
Schlegel; Powell's St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 
1753-1953— By David L. Smiley; Polk's Southern 
Accent— By Philip D. Jordan; Rubin's and Jacobs's 
Southern Renascence. The Literature of the Modern 
South— By H. G. Kincheloe; Davis's Chronicler of 
the Cavaliers— By James Atkins Shackford; Robin- 
son's Richard Oswald's Memorandum On the Folly 
of Invading Virginia, the strategic Importance of 
Portsmouth, and the Need for Civilian Control of 
the Military— By Hugh T. Lefler; Hamilton's 
Thomas Rodney: Revolutionary & Builder of the 
West— By Henry T. Malone; Ewing's Guide to the 
Manuscript Collections in the William L. Clements 
Library— By Lester J. Cappon; Flexner's The Trai- 
tor and the Spy— By Davis Applewhite; Dilling- 
ham's Federal Aid to Veterans, 1917-1941— By Ed- 
ward G. Lewis; Spencer's Decision for War, 1917 
—By David L. Smiley; Craven's The Growth of 
Southern Nationalism, 1848-1861— By Davis Apple- 


vi Contents 


NUMBER 3, JULY, 1954 


OF JULY IN NORTH CAROLINA (1776-1876) 295 

Fletcher M. Green 


John W. Parker 


Hugh F. Rankin 



Robert Leroy Hilldrup 


H. H. Cunningham 



Richard Walser 


Shanks's The Tapers of Willie Person Mangum: Vol- 
ume III— By Howard Braverman; Olds's An Ab- 
stract of North Carolina Wills from about 1760 to 
about 1 800— By W. Frank Burton; Wilsons 
Selected Papers of Cornelia Phillips Spencer— By 
Howard B. Clay; Brawley's The Rowan Story, 
1753-1953 By Robert H. Woody; Dorris's Pardon 
and Amnesty under Lincoln and Johnson— By James 
W. Patton; Vandiver's Proceedings of the First 
Confederate Congress, Fourth Session— By J. G. De 
Roulhac Hamilton; Pressly's Americans Interpret 
Their Civil War— By Clement Eaton; Patricks 
Florida Fiasco— By D. H. Gelpatrick; House's 
Planter Management and Capitalism in Ante-Bellum 


Contents vii 

Georgia— By Rosser H. Taylor; Strobels The Salz- 
burgers and Their Descendants— By Lawrence F. 
Brewster; Boyd's The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: 
Volume VIII— By Fletcher M. Green; Semmes's 
Baltimore as Seen by Visitors, 1783-1860— By Henry 
Smith Stroupe; Lamberts Arthur Pue Gorman— By 
John Mitchell Justice; Carter's The Territorial 
Papers of the United States: Volume XIX— By 
Orville W. Taylor. 



Kenneth L. Carroll 



Owen M. Peterson 

POOR RELIEF, 1700-1860 479 

Benjamin Joseph Klebaner 



Horace W. Raper 

NORTH CAROLINA 1729-1759 517 

Carl W. Ubbelohde, Jr. 

IN NORTH CAROLINA (1776-1876) — 

Fletcher M. Green 


Richard Walser 

viii Contents 


Lefler's and Newsome's North Carolina: The History 
of a Southern State — By Weymouth T. Jordan ; Hook- 
er's The Carolina Backcountry on the Eve of the Revo- 
lution — By Robert C. Cotner; Cauthen's Family 
Letters of the Three Wade Hamptons — By Francis B. 
Simkins; Childs's Rice Planter and Sportsman: The 
Recollections of J. Motte Alston, 1821-1909 — By James 

F. Hopkins; Range's A Century of Georgia Agricul- 
ture, 1850-1950 — By CORNELIUS 0. CATHEY; ELLISON'S 
History and Bibliography of Alabama Newspapers in 
the Nineteenth Century — By Edwin A. Miles ; Clark's 
The First Saratoga. Being the Saga of John Young and 
His Sloop-of-War — By H. G. Kincheloe ; Horan's Con- 
federate Agent: A Discovery in History — By W. Neil 
Franklin ; Fisher's Negro Slave Songs in the United 
States — By Arthur Palmer Hudson; McWilliam's 
Fleur de Lys and Calumet — By Edwin A. Miles; 
Pratt's Galveston Island. The Journal of Francis C. 
Sheridan, 1839 -18 UO — By Jefferson Davis Bragg; 
Barnhart's Valley of Democracy — By W. S. Tarlton ; 
Sizer's The Autobiography of Colonel John Trumbull, 
Patriot-Artist, 1756-184-3 — By William M. E. Rachal; 
Tebbel's George Washington's America — By Clara G. 
Roe ; Macartney's Grant and His Generals — By John 

G. Barrett; Rodick's American Constitutional Cus- 
tom — By Francis Paschal; Abernethy's The Burr 
Conspiracy — By William T. Miller. 



The North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Volume XXXI January, 1954 Number 1 


By C. 0. Cathey 

The practice of agriculture in the United States underwent 
revolutionary changes during the ante-bellum period. * Al- 
though far less spectacular than developments occurring in 
the political field, these changes were destined to bring the 
nation into a position of predominance in the world of agri- 
culture. As the tide of westward migration flowed into the 
rich, deep lands of the midwest and southwest a vast in- 
crease occurred in the number of acres devoted to farming. 
The demand for an increase in the efficiency of labor led 
to the introduction into farming of many new or improved 
implements— more, in fact, than had been introduced in the 
previous three thousand years. Iron and steel plows with 
replaceable parts, the cradle, mowing, reaping, threshing, 
and horse-power machines, to mention the most important, 
rapidly stepped up the efficiency and productivity of agri- 
cultural labor. 2 As a result of the experiments of such pio- 
neers in agricultural chemistry as Justus von Liebig of Ger- 

1 The best general account of agriculture in the United States to 1860 is 
to be found in Percy Wells Bidwell and John I. Falconer, History of Agri- 
culture in the Northern United States, 1620-1860 (Washington, 1925), 
and Lewis Cecil Gray, History of Agriculture in the Southern States to 1860 
(Washington, 1933, 2 vols.). A general account of ante-bellum North Caro- 
lina agriculture is contained in the author's "Agricultural Developments in 
North Carolina, 1783-1860," an unpublished doctoral dissertation at the 
University of North Carolina (1948). Most of the information for this 
paper was uncovered during my research on that project. 

2 For a chronology of major American inventions of the period 1790- 
1860, see Roger Burlingame, March of Iron: A Social History of Union 
Through Invention (New York, 1938). For a good account of the evolution 
of such implements as the plow, mower, reaper, scythe, shovel, spade, hoe, 
fork, cotton gin, etc., see United States Census of 1860 (Agriculture), 


2 The North Carolina Historical Review 

many and Sir Humphrey Davy of England, informed agri- 
culturists the world over began to think of the soil, for the 
first time, as a living, breathing thing which required intel- 
ligent attention in order to produce best results. 3 Scientific 
knowledge was applied in agriculture as never before. 4 In- 
formed farmers began to understand that they were engaged 
in a sort of mining business involving the extraction from the 
air and soil of certain elements vital to the growth of plant 
life. Experimentation for the purpose of developing more 
efficient farming was greatly stimulated. For the first time in 
the history of the nation an agricultural press was established 
to serve as a vehicle for the exchange of ideas and to chronicle 
the changes being brought about. 5 Agricultural societies, 
fairs, and lobbies made their appearance also. 6 For the first 
time, state aid in the form of public schools, 7 agricultural 
schools, 8 and internal improvements was sought by the 
farming interests. 9 Never before had the agricultural popula- 
tion given so much thought towards improvement of its con- 
dition. As a result, the more enlightened farmers began to 
abandon the extensive and wasteful practices of their pioneer 
forefathers in favor of more careful methods. Farming grad- 
ually became a less custom-ridden business, weighed down 

3 Milton Whitney, Soil and Civilization: A Modern Concept of the Soil and 
the Historical Development of Agriculture (New York, 1925). 

* Alfred Charles True, A History of Agricultural Experimentation and 
Research in the United States, 1607-1925, Including a History of the United 
States Department of Agriculture (Washington, 1937). 

5 For the best account of this development, see Albert L. Demaree, The 
American Agricultural Press, 1819-1860 (New York, 1935). 

6 Wayne Caldwell Neely, The Agricultural Fair (New York, 1935). 

7 John Sherwood, editor of North Carolina's first agricultural journal, said 
the lack of an adequate public school system was one of the strongest in- 
fluences retarding agricultural reform in North Carolina. Farmer's Ad- 
vocate, 1 (September, 1838), 36. An Onslow County farmer wrote: "General 
intelligence is as essential to successful agriculture as it is to good legisla- 
tion. The friends of agriculture must first become the friends of general 
education. . . ." North Carolina Farmer, III (August, 1847), 70. 

8 The suggestion was made in 1856 that a state-supported agricultural 
school be established in each congressional district of North Carolina. Caro- 
lina Watchman (Salisbury, N. C), December 9, 1856. The agricultural press 
of the United States in this period was, perhaps, more persistent in its 
advocacy of agricultural education than in any other measure of reform. 
A. L. Demaree, The American Agricultural Press, 1819-1860, 51. 

9 Joseph Caldwell argued that the lack of adequate transportation facili- 
ties in North Carolina in the 1820's kept the people of the state in a "de- 
pressed and embarrassed" circumstance. (Joseph Caldwell), The Numbers 
of Carlton, Addressed to' the People of North Carolina, On a Central Rail- 
road Through the State (New York, 1828), 39. 

^. .. 

Sidney Weller : Ante-Bellum Promoter 3 

by ignorance and superstition, and more an activity conduct- 
ed on an intelligent basis. 10 These changes were reflected 
by tremendous increases in the volume, variety, and value 
of American farm output. 

Many North Carolinians were aware of the changes being 
made in agriculture and some played an active part in bring- 
ing them about. Shortly after 1800 several editors in the 
state began to devote a section in their newspapers to agri- 
cultural subjects. Although most of the material appearing 
in these columns was reprinted from out-of-state papers, 
soon local contributors began "to take pen in hand/' Local 
and state agricultural societies were founded and fairs were 
held. In the 1830's the state had its first periodical devoted 
exclusively to agricultural subjects. From then until 1860 
seven such papers were published in the state. Although none 
secured sufficient patronage to enable it to survive more than 
five years, these papers provided an outlet for, and encour- 
agement to, those who wished to write on agricultural sub- 
jects. New ideas and ways of doing things did not find quick 
or easy acceptance by ante-bellum North Carolinians. Ig- 
norance and superstition were too prevalent in the popula- 
tion. As might be expected in such a circumstance, the 
farmer's attachment to customary ways of doing things was 
strong; and all proposals of change were looked upon with 
suspicion. Improvement did not come easily. 

There were some farmers, however, who were alert to the 
changes being made in agriculture and undertook to profit 
by them. One of these was Sidney Weller of Halifax County. 
Perhaps no person in North Carolina was better informed 
of the progress being made in agriculture nor more active 
in promoting agricultural reform. Certainly, no ante-bellum 
North Carolinian wrote more in the interest of agricultural 
reform. To him the promotion of agricultural reform was a 
"benign cause" and he frequently expressed the desire to 
see agriculture prosper throughout the nation. ". . . agri- 

*° In partial answer to the query: "Can Farming be an Intellectual Pur- 
suit?" the editor of one North Carolina newspaper asserted: "The time is 
fast coming when our farmers must look at more intently, and comprehend 
more clearly, the principles of good husbandry." Carolina Watchman, May 4, 

4 The North Carolina Historical Review 

culture, including its various branches," he wrote, "confessed- 
ly lies at the foundation of human society and welfare; and, 
therefore agricultural improvement is of utmost importance 
to all." n Although Weller saw in North Carolina "a state 
which . . . pressingly needs the lights and improvements 
of Agriculture," he addressed himself neither entirely to 
North Carolinians nor to farmers. 12 If he had a local or sec- 
tional bias it was not reflected in any of his writings. 

Like most of those engaged in the promotion of agricul- 
tural reform, Weller was a farmer himself. He moved from 
Orange County in New York to Brinkleyville in Halifax 
County, North Carolina, in the 1820's, settling in that place 
on a 400-acre farm, for which he paid a dollar and a half an 
acre. This land was described as "miserably" and "prover- 
bially" poor and was said to be dear at that price. With the 
aid of hired hands and the application of the most advanced 
farming methods, this farm was brought into a high state 
of productivity and became a source of satisfactory profit to 
the owner. 13 Weller never became a planter in the traditional 
sense, but engaged instead in general farming, viniculture, 
and in the operation of a small nursery. 

Weller's success in restoring fertility to his worn-out acres 
was recounted in an article entitled, "To Make Poor Old Land 
Good, and the Good Better." 14 Such improvement, it was 
emphasized, could not be made without knowledge, skill, 
and industry. The importance to the farmer of working hard 
and giving close attention to the details of farm management 
were also stressed. "For instance," he wrote, "while some . . . 
were spending their time, in attending election treats, fish- 
fries, and the like, to listen to artful demagogues talking 

11 Farmer's Register, V (January, 1838), 637. 
12 Farmer's Advocate, I (March, 1839), 212. 

13 Farmer's Register, VI (November, 1838), 492-493; North Carolina 
Farmer, I (August, 1845), 44-45; Report of the United States Commissioner 
of Patents (Washington, 1853), 308-309. Weller stated his qualifications as 
follows: "College degrees or a thorough liberal education. And credentials 
in both mineral and vegetable lines of medical practice; and general his- 
torical and political knowledge. . . ." Press (Tarboro, N. C), May 22, 1847. 
For several years after settling in North Carolina, Weller was the principal 
of Quankey Academy and of Brinkleyville Academy in Halifax County. 
He drew high praise from the trustees of these institutions for his work as 
principal. Letter, Mrs. Leon Anderson to the author, July 7, 1949. 

14 North Carolina Farmer, I (August, 1865), 44-46. 

Sidney Weller : Ante-Bellum Promoter 5 

about hard times ... I was taking the pains to make a crop 
of ruta baga, at the rates of 600 bushels per acre. . . ." 15 

In building up his soil and keeping it in a high state of 
productivity, Weller used a scheme of crop rotation and 
considered it of "very great importance." 16 Unlike the great 
majority of farmers at that time, he considered the practice 
of planting a field in the same crop several years in succes- 
sion to be "highly improper and unfarmerlike." 17 

Manuring had a major part in restoring fertility to those 
worn-out acres. Weller referred to it as "the farmer's gold 
mine, or secret of wealth," and considered the collection 
and judicious application of manures of "the utmost im- 
portance towards improvement of old lands. . . ." 18 Instead 
of broadcasting the manure over the land, as many farmers 
did, here it was distributed into drills. 

The facts all indicate that a very large part of the suitable 
agricultural land in North Carolina had been abused in the 
same manner as this farm at Brinkleyville. The average 
farmer held to the opinion that economically it was cheaper 
to clear new lands than to fertilize the old. Furthermore, the 
process of wastage of the soil was speeded up by the almost 
general neglect to plant cover crops or to establish proper 

In 1820 the amount of land in North Carolina abandoned 
because it was no longer sufficiently productive was, perhaps, 
even greater than the acreage then in cultivation. Faced 
with the realization that the supply of new ground was ex- 
haustible, thousands of North Carolinians, rather than en- 
gage in the slow process of soil restoration, were abandoning 
their farms and emigrating southward and westward. 19 

w North Carolina Farmer, I (August, 1845), 44-45. 

16 North Carolina Farmer, I (August, 1845), 44-45. 

11 Farmer's Journal, II (January, 1854), 310. 

M North Carolina Farmer, I (August, 1845), 45. 

19 Most contemporary accounts agree that economically, politically, and 
socially, North Carolina was in a serious crisis during the first three decades 
of the nineteenth century. George W. Jeffreys, one of the state's leading 
agricultural reformers, wrote in 1819: "In North Carolina the state of 
agriculture is at the lowest ebb; I speak not this with reproach, but with 
the deepest regret. . . . Our present, is a land-killing system, which must be 
altered for the better; for if persevered in, it must ultimately issue in want 
misery and depopulation." Farmer's Own Book: A Series of Essays on Agri- 
culture and Rural Affairs; in Forty-Seven Numbers (Raleigh, 1819), 5. 

6 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Among other bad results of this chain of developments, land 
prices were depressed and farmers' morale was lowered. 
Weller's success in restoring fertility to his soil, undoubtedly, 
helped correct that condition. Certainly, by 1860 the farmers' 
outlook was much improved. 

Weller's most spectacular success did not come with the 
reclamation of his land, but from his efforts in promoting 
the planting of mortis multicaulis, or the Chinese mulberry 
tree. The leaves of this tree were to be used as food for silk- 
worms in the development of an American silk industry. 
Enthusiasm for this project was felt all over the nation, and 
during the late 1830's and early 1840's it rose to fever pitch. 
There was scarcely an issue of the better-known agricultural 
journals which did not carry at least one article directed 
towards the promotion of this cause. 

Weller was the first North Carolinian to show any interest 
in producing silk and to introduce the planting of mulberry 
trees in the state. His interest in this project was attracted 
by an article which he had read in the American Farmer in 
1833. A mulberry tree was procured from a Baltimore nurs- 
eryman for one dollar and planted on the farm at Brinkley- 
ville. Because the demand for mulberry trees, or buds from 
which the tree could be sprouted, reached such fantastic 
proportions, Weller reported that $10,000 worth of stock 
was sold in the next six years from this single tree. 20 

Weller's enthusiasm for this development did not end with 
the selling of mulberry buds. Silkworms were purchased and 
some silk was produced. He undertook to interest others 
in doing likewise by offering to sell silkworm eggs and to buy 
and reel cocoons, or to act as an agent in finding markets 
for raw silk and cocoons. 21 

The silk cause, however, did not prosper. Persons ex- 
perienced in this business in France and Italy failed in North 
Carolina. The climate seemed to be unfavorable for silk 
production. About the time the silkworm was expected to 

20 Farmer's Register, VI (November, 1838), 492-493. Buds from these 
mulberry trees were advertised, in 1839, at $30 per 1,000 "to be forwarded 
with due care to any place directed; at the risk of the buyer," for cash 
in advance. Farmer's Advocate I (March, 1839), 224. 

a Farmer's Advocate, III (January, 1842), 229; Farmer's Advocate, III 
(April, 1842), 318. 

Sidney Weller : Ante-Bellum Promoter 7 

spin cocoons it often contracted a disease called the yellows 
and died. At first, Weller refused to be discouraged by failure 
and suggested that silk could be successfully produced by 
using methods adapted to the American climate. 22 He failed, 
however, to discover such methods and finally gave the 
project up as "hopeless of profit in the South" because of the 
sudden vicissitudes of weather. 23 

Although others in the state, including a college president, 
joined in the effort to develop a silk industry in North Car- 
olina, Weller played the leading role. Of his part in this 
project, one editor wrote: ". . . his fame is as inseparably 
associated in the mind with the Morus Multicaulis Tree, 
as that of General Jackson with the Hickory." 24 

Although Weller spoke of grape growing and wine making 
as only "incidental" activities on his farm, he won greatest 
renown as the developer and promoter of what he called 
an "American System" of grape culture, and an "American 
System" of wine making. Undoubtedly, he was the author 
of more articles on these subjects than any American of his 
time. These were published in nearly every agricultural jour- 
nal in the land. James Dunwoody Brownson De Bow, editor 
of De Bow's Review, recognized Weller as "one of the most 
successful vintners in the whole South— we might say in the 
Union." 25 De Bow offered, as a service to the general public, 
to distribute free of charge a large number of the Reviews in 
which Weller's articles had appeared. 26 The section of the 
1845 Patent Office Report devoted to agriculture carried 
two original articles by Weller on these subjects, and reprints 
of others which had appeared in the North Carolina Farmer, 
the Farmer and Mechanic, Albany Cultivator, and the Ameri- 
can Farmer. 27 In the same year, one of his articles entitled, 
"Wine Making as Practiced in North Carolina," was read 

22 Farmer's Advocate, III (January, 1842), 229. 
28 De Bow's Review, IV (November, 1847), 317. 

24 Reprint from the Reporter (Warrenton, N. C.) in the Press (Tarboro, 
N. C. ) May 22, 1847. 
25 De Bow's Review, VIII (March, 1850), 245. 

26 De Bow's Review, VI (September, 1848), 204. 

27 Report of the United States Commissioner of Patents (Washington, 
1845), 932-948. 

8 The North Carolina Historical Review 

before the American Agricultural Association and became 
the subject of a special report to that body. 28 

As a result of years of experience in general farming, Wel- 
ler came to the conclusion that the methods to be employed 
in the cultivation of any crop should be determined by the 
circumstances of soil and climate. For this reason, he strongly 
urged American grape growers to abandon European meth- 
ods in tending their vineyards and to adopt what he called 
an "American System." "The European system is briefly that 
of keeping the vines humble," he wrote, "or that of planting 
them close, and by trimming, not permitting them to attain 
but a few, say three or four, feet in height." 29 Many French- 
men, it was pointed out, skilled in the culture of grapes in 
France, had "totally failed" to produce good grapes when 
using French methods in America. Often, too, when pruned 
in the European manner, the vines died. 30 "America must 
throw herself, in this matter and others, on her own re- 
sources," he said; "and at most only take hints from foreign 
men and books, on subjects of agriculture." 31 His "American 
System," in short, was one which would permit the vines 
to expand with a minimum of pruning, supporting them on 
scaffolds or arbors built for the purpose. 32 After following 
this practice for years, Weller asserted that in quantity and 
quality of product his vineyard was producing more grapes 
and wine per acre than were being produced in French vine- 
yards or those of any other wine making country in Europe. 33 

Weller not only renounced foreign methods in grape cul- 
ture but also foreign varieties of grapes. After prolonged ex- 
perimentation, the conclusion was reached that domestic 
varieties, properly managed, would produce better results. 34 
The Halifax, a native North Carolina grape, was found to 
be excellent in every respect and "equal to any in the United 
States." 35 From this grape a variety was produced which was 
named "Weller's Halifax." This grape received wide acclaim 

28 Monthly Journal of Agriculture, I (November, 1845), 243-246. 

29 Farmer's Register, IV (December, 1836), 459-460. 

80 Farmer's Register, IV (December, 1836), 456-460. 

81 Farmer's Advocate, III (January, 1842), 228-229. 
83 Farmer's Advocate, III (January, 1842), 228-229. 

83 North Carolina Farmer, I (August, 1845), 41. 

84 Farmer's Advocate, III (January, 1842), 227-228. 
35 Farmer's Register, V (January, 1838), 636. 

Sidney Weller : Ante-Bellum Promoter 9 

and was distributed at premium rates to many parts of the 
country. 36 Although more susceptible to climatic limitations 
than the Halifax, Weller considered the scuppernong, an- 
other native of North Carolina, the finest grape grown in 
the South— particularly for wine making. 37 

It was found that domestic vines were improved by graft- 
ing to the fox grape, a hardy, undomesticated variety which 
grew in North Carolina. 38 Weller's methods in making grafts 
and propagating cuttings of vines were described in one of 
his articles. 39 In all, experiments were conducted with over 
one hundred varieties of grapes. From this long list twenty- 
six varieties were selected as outstanding, and were classified 
according to quality and adaptability for planting in the 
South. 40 Weller was familiar with the efforts to improve the 
quality of grapes grown in America by the pioneers in that 
field. 41 Their findings were put to the test in his vine- 
yard. . . . experiment is the great test of utility in 
all arts," he wrote, "and especially in that appertaining 
to agriculture. . . ." 42 

Throughout the decade of the 1840's Weller's vineyard 
of over six acres was the largest and most productive in the 
state, and only exceeded in the nation in volume of product 
by those of Nicholas Longworth of Ohio— reputedly the 
largest grape and wine producer in the country. 43 

A large part of the grape harvest was used in the making 
of wine— a process in which Weller also evolved an "American 
System." The temperance movement, which was then being 
pushed in the nation, might be helped, he thought, by en- 
couraging the substitution of wine for the ardent spirits. 
Wine, it was said, is one of the very best medicines, and lest 
the reader object to it on religious grounds, attention was 
called to that passage in the Bible wherein Timothy was 

38 Farmer's Advocate, III (January, 1842), 227-228; Farmer's Advocate, 
III (April, 1842), 317-318. 

37 North Carolina Farmer, I (January, 1846), 171. 
38 De Bow's Review, IV (November, 1847), 312-313. 
39 North Carolina Farmer, I (October, 1845), 102-103. 

40 North Carolina Farmer, I (November, 1845), 136-138. 

41 De Bow's Review, IV (November, 1847), 311. 

42 De Bow's Review, IV (November, 1847), 311. 

43 De Bow's Review, VII (July, 1849), 59; De Bow's Review, XII (May, 
1852), 470. 

10 The North Carolina Historical Review 

directed to take "a little . . . for his stomach's sake. . . ." 
However, Weller emphasized that to those in good health 
the stimulant of wine was unnecessary. 44 

Weller's wine making formula was based on the assump- 
tion that American-grown grapes were lacking in saccharine 
content, and, in order to make good wine, required the ad- 
dition of sugar or brandy. 45 This conclusion was reached 
after numerous unsuccessful experiments in which European 
and northern wine making methods were employed. After 
he began adding sugar or brandy his wine making efforts 
became "uniformly successful." 46 Briefly, his instructions 
for making wine were as follows: 

1. Use only sound, ripe grapes. Mash grapes with a roller. 

2. Press out the juice as in cider making. 

3. Strain juice through woolen blanket. 

4. Add two pounds or more of sugar to the gallon of juice. 

5. Put juice in a clean cask and store cask in a cool place or 


6. Draw off wine from cask by spigot, after it has quit working, 

and put in bottles or barrels. 47 

The addition of the correct amount of sugar, a matter to be 
determined by the sweetness of the juice, Weller called the 
"True Secret of American Wine Making." 48 

In the Weller winery a record book was kept in which 
detailed notations were made on the processing of each run 
of wine. No detail that might have significance in determining 
the quality of the product was overlooked. Each barrel of 
wine was given a number corresponding with the number 
given the run from which it was taken. This system was rec- 
ommended to other vintners with the statement that it had 
been used "with happy effect" for years. "By turning to his 

44 North Carolina Farmer, I (August, 1845), 41-43. 

45 Monthly Journal of Agriculture, I (November, 1845), 243-245. The 
editor of this journal sent Weller's article on wine making to Colonel 
Edward Clark of Brooklyn for criticism. Colonel Clark argued that the 
addition of sugar or brandy would be unnecessary if the vines were pruned 
and cultivated. Monthly Journal of Agriculture, I (November, 1845), 246. 

46 North Carolina Farmer, I (August, 1845), 40-41. 
"Farmer's Register, IV (December, 1836), 42-43. 

48 For one of his articles on this subject, see De Bow's Review, VIII (July, 
1849), 59-62. 

Sidney Weller: Ante-Bellum Promoter 11 

book," he wrote, "the vintner is never at a loss to learn, from 
the past, wisdom for the future." 49 

Weller's wine received high praise from those who tried 
it. James D. B. De Bow wrote that it was "gaining much 
celebrity" in New Orleans, and requested an article for his 
Review on the subject of wine making. Weller was quick to 
oblige. 50 Four samples of his scuppernong wine were ex- 
hibited at the North Carolina State Fair and won four first 
prizes. This exhibit led the editor of one farm journal to 
remark: "This gentleman deserves the patronage of those of 
our people who use wine, and nothing will give more celeb- 
rity to his vineyard than this display which he has made." 51 

Weller sold his wine by the bottle, gallon, or barrel at 
premium prices over a wide area of the country. During the 
period 1840-1854 his yearly product ranged from forty to 
seventy barrels. Undoubtedly, Weller's enthusiasm and ex- 
ample in this direction contributed towards North Carolina's 
leading the Union in 1840 in the production of wine. 

His success in selling Chinese mulberry trees led Weller 
to establish a small nursery on his farm, from which were 
sold grape vines, fruit trees of nearly every kind, ornamental 
shrubs, "all selected with reference to adaptedness to south- 
ern climes," and vegetable seeds. 52 The fruit trees were 
grafted and budded in an effort to bring out the best qualities 
in each variety. These were sold at prices ranging from 
twenty to fifty cents each, "according to sorts, size, and 
scarcity in the market." Experiments were also conducted 
for the purpose of producing better varieties of strawberries 
and vegetables for the nursery trade. 53 Despite the trans- 
portation handicaps, stock from this nursery was boxed in 
damp sawdust or moss and shipped, with good success, to 
places as far away as New Orleans and St. Louis. 54 As in 
every other phase of Weller's farming activities, the results 

49 De Bow's Review, VII (July, 1849), 62. 

50 De Bow's Review, IV (November, 1847), 310. 

51 Farmer's Journal, II (November, 1853), 241. 

52 Farmer's Advocate, III (January, 1842), 227-230. 

53 Farmer's Advocate, III (January, 1842), 227-230. Weller's method of 
getting and propagating cuttings was described in North Carolina Farmer, 
I (October, 1845), 102-103. 

54 North Carolina Farmer, I (October, 1845), 102-103. 

12 The North Carolina Historical Review 

of his experience in developing this nursery, particularly the 
vineyard part of it, were shared with the reading public in 
many articles published in local newspapers and in the lead- 
ing agricultural journals. 

Weller believed that success in general or diversified farm- 
ing was often determined by the amount of attention given 
by the farmer to what he called "the small things." 55 In 
keeping with this idea he was always alert to discover new 
methods or new crops which might add to the profitableness 
of his farming venture. This may be seen in his success in 
exploiting the market for Chinese mulberry trees. In like 
manner, Weller's interest was attracted to the artichoke— a 
crop which was receiving enthusiastic acclaim in the farm 
journals. Seed of the Jerusalem variety of that vegetable, 
which was the most popular of several varieties available, 
were secured from a source in Georgia, and three bushels 
were planted. From this first planting a yield of from 700 to 
1,000 bushels per acre was harvested. 5G After experimenting 
with this plant, the conclusion was reached that the artichoke 
would grow well in any soil in which the Irish potato would 
grow. The artichoke was then strongly recommended as a 
substitute for the potato "where it is no longer safe to culti- 
vate on account of its destructive disease." The artichoke was 
also praised as an important auxiliary renovator of the soil 
and as a profitable crop for fattening hogs. 57 

The okra plant similarly excited Weller's interest. Seed for 
planting were procured from the Patent Office and other 
sources. The results were most satisfactory. The seed of this 
plant were highly recommended as the best available sub- 
stitute for coffee. 58 No mention was made of any other man- 
ner in which okra was used. Apparently, the interest in the 
plant sprang, at least in part, from the desire to find a sub- 
stitute for coffee. 

Rhubarb, or pie plant, was another vegetable which re- 
ceived considerable mention in the agricultural journals. 

■■ S "aJlf! 

55 North Carolina Farmer, II (December, 1846), 161. 

86 North Carolina Farmer, II (December, 1846), 161. 

57 North Carolina Farmer, II (January, 1847), 169-171. Farmers found 
the artichoke to be one of the easiest crops to grow. 

68 North Carolina Farmer, II (December, 1846), 161-162. 

Sidney Weller : Ante-Bellum Promoter 13 

Weller stocked this plant in his nursery and voiced the opin- 
ion that it merited even more attention than it was receiv- 
ing. He also gave an account of his methods in cultivating 
the plant. 59 

Articles in the agricultural press praising the qualities of 
such crops as ruta bagas, pumpkins, rohan potatoes, and 
clover led to experimentation in their culture on the Weller 
farm. 60 These were all successfully grown and duly reported 
upon by the grower. Like Edmund Ruffin, the great Virginia 
reformer and student of North Carolina agricultural pros- 
pects, Weller concluded that clover did not thrive in the 
state because the climate was unfavorable to its growth. He 
began planting peas instead. 

Damage to crops by disease and pests of various kinds 
was the subject of frequent complaint by ante-bellum farm- 
ers. Plant diseases were more difficult to guard against, and 
very little was accomplished towards reducing the losses 
caused by their presence. Bugs and insects, however, pre- 
sented a more obvious target. The chinch bug, perhaps the 
most frequently mentioned and harmful of the pests which 
attacked the small grain crops, particularly aroused Weller's 
ire. In 1840, he proposed that a premium fund be established 
to reward anyone who suggested a means of eradicating that 
pest. Previously he had tried, without success, to guard 
against the chinch bug by following the suggestion that 
tomatoes planted around the grain field would keep the bugs 
away. 61 He found that cabbage lice could be guarded against 
by sprinkling dry dirt on the plants while the dew was on. 62 
To keep the bugs away from grape vines, Weller treated his 
vines with a decoction containing tobacco and red pepper. 63 
Despite the great amount of attention given these problems, 
very little was accomplished in the ante-bellum period to- 
wards reducing crop losses resulting from either diseases or 


North Carolina Farmer, I (November, 1845), 121-122. 
Cultivator, III (November, 1836), 122; Cultivator, VII (December, 
1840), 35; North Carolina Farmer, I (January, 1846), 172-173. 

61 Cultivator, VII (August, 1840), 131. 

62 Cultivator, XII (June, 1845), 194. 

63 Cultivator, XII (June, 1845), 194. 

14 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Weller was constantly on the alert to discover better ways 
of doing things. Undoubtedly, he was less restrained by tra- 
dition in the conduct of his farming activities than his neigh- 
bors. For example, while they persisted in using the old- 
fashioned method of planting corn in hills, Weller adopted 
the practice of planting it in drills or rows. Although predic- 
tions of failure were to be heard on every hand, he succeeded 
in producing more corn per acre than anyone using the old 
system. 64 

In 1853 Weller placed third in the state in the corn sweep- 
stakes contest sponsored by the North Carolina Agricultural 
Society. The product from one acre was seventy-three and 
a fraction bushels. As required by the rules governing that 
contest, a detailed report in writing was submitted to the 
society covering all the work done on the prize-winning 
acre. 65 Prior to planting, Weller treated the seed corn for 
protection against crows and other pests with a thin film of 
tar, and rolled it either in plaster of paris, ashes, or dry 
earth. 66 

It is difficult to measure the extent of Sidney Weller's 
contribution to the development of agriculture. After looking 
through the records, one is impressed by the fact that he 
gave his whole-hearted support to every proposal which was 
directed towards an improvement in farming both in the 
state and in the nation. Unlike many of the friends of 
agricultural reform, who accepted the new ideas and methods 
and quietly adopted them in their farming, Weller refused 
to be quiet and urged the movement forward with intel- 
ligence, energy, and enthusiasm. 

Agricultural societies, as agencies for the promotion of re- 
form, were given his active support. He belonged to the 
Halifax County society and represented it at the meeting, 
in 1852, in which the state society was organized. 67 In com- 
menting on the work of these bodies, Weller wrote: 

64 North Carolina Farmer, II (April, 1847), 253-254. 

65 Register (Raleigh, N. C), March 4, 1854. 

66 North Carolina Farmer, II (April, 1847), 253-254. 
67 Farmer's Journal, II (July, 1853), 113. 

Sidney Weller : Ante-Bellum Promoter 15 

They have a great tendency to advance the agricultural in- 
terest of the country, thereby advancing every other interest, 
greatly promoting the comfort and happiness of the people, fixing 
more firmly the bonds of republican union, at the same time 
guarding against factional discord. G8 

Agricultural fairs, whether local, state, or sectional, were 
encouraged at every opportunity. Weller helped plan the 
first North Carolina State Fair in 1853, and won several 
premiums for exhibits of vegetables, fruits, and wines. Like 
most advocates of better farming, he expressed the hope that 
state and county fairs "will be common in our country. . . ." 69 

Edmund RufBn once referred to Weller as a successful 
"book-farmer." 70 Undoubtedly, reading on agricultural sub- 
jects did contribute a great deal towards his success as a 
farmer. On one occasion he said: "I began ... by taking the 
American Fanner. . . ." 71 He subscribed to two or more 
agricultural papers most of the time and contributed articles 
to these and many others. He solicited subscriptions in his 
community for several farm papers and undertook to over- 
come the farmers' prejudice against what was generally 
called "book-farming." 72 He emphasized in his writings that 
"knowledge is power in farming." In reply to the question 
as to how the farmer might acquire knowledge, he answered: 
". . . reading on the subject of agriculture is one excellent 
and principal means. . . ." 73 ". . . wherever . . . (agricultural 
papers) are to be seen, a light is sure to be shed upon the 
subject which has been hitherto hidden by the cloud of 
ignorance." 74 Each farmer was urged to regard his agri- 
cultural paper as important to his success as his hoe or plow. 
Such a course would lead not only to an improvement in 
the quality of farming, but also to a solution for the problems 
which confronted the state. 75 

Weller was among the first to extend good wishes to the 
editors of new agricultural journals. These greetings were 


Farmer's Journal, 11 (January, 1854), 309. 
Farmer's Journal, II (January, 1854), 309. 
™ Farmer's Register, VI (November, 1838), 492. 

71 North Carolina Farmer, I (August, 1845), 45. 

72 Farmer's Journal, II (January, 1854), 310. 

73 North Carolina Farmer, I (August, 1845), 44. 

74 Farmer's Journal, II (January, 1854), 309-310. 

75 North Carolina Farmer, I (August, 1845), 44. 

16 The North Carolina Historical Review 

usually accompanied by one or more articles for publication 
or reprinting. Unlike the great majority of ante-bellum North 
Carolinians, Weller enjoyed writing about his farming ac- 
tivities. Having no false sense of modesty like some who 
signed their articles "Agricola," "Cincinnatus," "Clod-hop- 
per," and the like, Weller let his identity be known. His writ- 
ings dealt with nearly the whole range of the agricultural 
reform movement, but most attention was given to the cul- 
ture of grapes and the making of wine. 76 Although he planted 
cotton on his farm, cotton growing was not the subject of 
any of his articles. Tobacco and rice planting were also 
neglected. His remarks were generally addressed to farmers 
rather than to planters— a fact of significance in ante-bellum 
North Carolina, for the state was overwhelmingly a farming 
rather than a planting state. 

Weller was very confident in his opinions. He was, perhaps, 
as well educated as any person connected with agriculture 
in the state. He demonstrated in his writings that he was 
familiar with the work of the outstanding authorities in the 
fields of agriculture, chemistry, medicine, and political sci- 
ence, and even quoted the Bible to strengthen his views. 
He often used such an expression as: "I speak from experi- 
ence and knowledge." 77 After reading a few of Weller's 
articles, one gets the feeling of having been lectured to. This 
reaction was expressed by a political enemy who referred to 
Weller's writings as "learned lucubrations." 78 

Weller realized that the state's progress in agriculture was 
being seriously retarded by the farmer's attachment to old, 
out-moded practices, and to an unwillingness to try the 
new. 79 In nearly every article this situation was attacked, 
and farmers were urged to wake up from their Rip Van 
Winkle agricultural sleep. 80 Like many of those associated 
in the movement for agricultural reform, he was overly op- 
timistic of the results to be expected. He was a successful 
farmer and seemed determined to share the secrets of his 

76 Farmer's Register, V (January, 1838), 637. 

77 North Carolina Farmer, I (December, 1845), 153. 

78 Reprint from the Reporter (Warrenton, N. C.) in the Press (Tarboro, 
N. C), May 22, 1847. 

79 De Bow's Review, IV (November, 1847), 310. 
80 North Carolina Farmer, I (August, 1845), 44. 

Sidney Weller : Ante-Bellum Promoter 17 

success with others. In referring to himself as "the farming 
public's humble servant," as he usually did in transmitting 
his articles, Weller indicated a spirit of humility and sin- 
cerity which seemed to motivate his efforts. 81 His activity in 
behalf of an improved agriculture continued until his death 
on March 1, 1854, at his residence in Halifax County. 82 

81 North Carolina Farmer, II (January, 1847), 171. 

82 Raleigh Register, March 15, 1854. 


By Joseph H. Taylor 

One of the most fascinating of historical studies is the move- 
ment of peoples over the face of the earth. There are aspects 
of romance, pathos, and tragedy attached to the various move- 
ments. Caesar, in his account of the campaigns in Gaul, 
speaks of peoples following the going down of the sun. In 
fact, one of the major causes of the downfall of ancient Rome 
was the constant human pressure that was exerted from the 
east. The Huns of Attila were pressed by Mongolian hordes. 
The Germanic barbarians were pushed on by the Huns fan- 
wise into Italy, France and Britain. The Western Hemisphere 
was discovered and settled by people who were responding 
to an apparent resistless urge to move. 

The great migrations of history have occurred during times 
of serious social, economic, or political unheavals. Invasions, 
revolutions, famines, and persecutions have uprooted, through 
the centuries, millions of men, women and children, and have 
sent them on their ways looking for real or imagined Canaans. 
The seeds of the Industrial Revolution were sown when hard 
times, brought on by the Black Death and the Statute of 
Laborers, set in motion migratory waves from the English 
manorial estates to London, Glasgow, and Dublin. Immigra- 
tion to America in the seventeenth-century was stimulated 
by the religious upheavals in Europe. In the years following 
the American Revolution, the United States became the haven 
for the oppressed of all the earth. The American Civil War— or 
more accurately, the Second American Revolution— was no 
exception to the rule. As a sequel to Sherman's devastating 
march, and the heart-breaking surrender at Appomattox, 
hundreds of thousands of Americans from all sections of the 
country heeded Horace Greeley's admonition to go west. Be- 
tween 1870 and 1880 there migrated from the fifteen former 


The Great Migration from North Carolina 19 

slave states to Kansas alone 59,193 whites and 19,116 
Negroes. 1 

Under ordinary circumstances, it would have been expected 
that the lately emancipated slaves would have left the South 
in large numbers. They were a primary cause of the long 
and bitter struggle, but no respectable place in a society of 
free men had been envisaged for them. Spiritually, they were 
aliens in a hostile country. In 1879 the nation was attracted 
to movements among the colored population from the south- 
ern states bordering on the Mississippi River. Contemporary 
reports reveal that "there was no appearance of organization 
or system among these persons." 

The irregularity and absence of preparation in these migra- 
tions indicate spontaneousness and earnestness. Bands moved 
from the plantations to the Mississippi River and thence to St. 
Louis and other cities with no defined purpose, except to 
reach some one of the new states west of the Mississippi 
where they expected to enjoy a new Canaan. 2 

On April 17, 1879, a convention of colored people was held 
in New Orleans, which was attended by 200 persons. Out of 
the meeting came a resolution "that it was the sense of the 
convention that the colored people of the South should mi- 
grate." 3 An appeal for material aid was made to the official 
and moral influence of the President of the United States, to 
the Republican party, and to the country at large. 

On May 7th, the Nashville Colored Convention met with 
delegates in attendance from thirteen states (Alabama, Ar- 
kansas, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, 
Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and 
Tennessee). Among a large number of resolutions, the Con- 
vention resolved, "That it is the sense of this conference that 
the colored people should emigrate to those states and terri- 
tories where they can enjoy all the rights which are guaran- 
teed by the laws and Constitution of the United States . . . and 
we ask of the United States an appropriation of $500,000 to 

1 Ninth Census of the U. S., Vital Statistics, (Government Printing Office, 
Washington, 1873), 328-35; Tenth Census of the U. S. (1880), 484-87. 

2 Appleton's Annual Encyclopedia, (New York, 1879), 354. 

3 Appleton's Annual Encyclopedia, 357. 

20 The North Carolina Historical Review 

aid in the removal of our people from the South." 4 The Kansas 
Freeman's Relief Association was organized with Governor 
John P. St. John as president. With the Governor were as- 
sociated other state officials. Among the purposes of the 
organization, as stated in an appeal on June 26, 1879, were: 
"to care for the needy; to maintain the honored traditions of 
our state, which had its conception and birth in a struggle 
for freedom and equal rights for the colored man. She has 
shed too much blood for this cause to now turn back from 
her soil these defenseless people fleeing from the land of 
oppression." 5 

The New York Tribune in an editorial argued that "it 
would be an interesting experiment to reserve a portion of the 
magnificant domain from the tribes which have no need of it, 
and set it apart for colored colonization. In the territory the 
blacks could raise the crops to which they are accustomed 
and relieved from the hand of proscription and injustice 
under which they labor in the Southern States, they could in 
a few years show what are the capacities of their race when 
it has a fair chance." 6 

On December 15, 1879, Senator Voorhees, a Democrat from 
Indiana, offered the following resolution in the United States 

Whereas large numbers of Negroes from Southern States, and 
especially from the State of North Carolina, are emigrating to 
the Northern States, and especially to the State of Indiana, and 
Whereas it is currently alleged that they are induced to do so by 
the unjust and cruel conduct of their white fellow-citizens toward 
them in the South : Therefore, 

Be it Resolved, That a Committee of five members of this body be 
appointed by its presiding officer, whose duty it shall be to 
investigate the causes which have led to the aforesaid emigration, 
and to report the same to the Senate. . . . 7 

The next day, Senator Windom, a Republican from Minne- 
sota, offered the following amendment to the Voorhees 

4 Appleton's Annual Encyclopedia, 1879, 358. 

5 Appleton's Annual Encyclopedia, 537. 

6 Tribune (New York), June 3, 1879. 

7 Congressional Record, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, 104, 


The Great Migration from North Carolina 21 

And be it further resolved, That in case said committee shall find 
that said exodus of colored citizens from the South has been 
caused by cruel and unjust treatment, or by the denial or abridg- 
ment of personal or political rights, they shall further inquire 
and report to the Senate : First, what, if any, action of Congress 
may be necessary to secure to every citizen of the United States 
the full and free enjoyment of all rights guaranteed by the Con- 
stitution; second, whether with the peaceful adjustment of all 
sectional issues may not be best secured by the distribution of the 
colored race, through their partial migration from those States 
and congressional districts where, by reason of their numerical 
majority, they are not allowed to freely and peacefully exercise 
the rights of citizenship ; and third ; that said committee inquire 
and report as to the expediency and practicability of providing 
such territory or territories as may be necessary for the use and 
occupation of persons who may desire to emigrate from their 
present homes in order to secure the free, full, and peaceful 
enjoyment of their constitutional rights and privileges. 8 

Senator Windom's amendment was defeated by a vote of 
25 to 18. There were thirty-three senators recorded as being 
absent on the roll-call vote. 9 The original Voorhees resolution 
was approved 27 to 12, with thirty-seven senators failing to 
answer the roll call. 10 The mid-term elections of 1878 returned 
Democratic majorities in both the Senate and House of 
Representatives for the first time since 1861. Vice-President 
Wheeler, thereupon, appointed three Democrats, Voorhees, 
Vance of North Carolina, and Pendleton of Ohio and two 
Republicans, Windom of Minnesota and Blair of New Hamp- 
shire—to the special committee. 

The committee sat for a total of fifty-three days between 
January 19 and April 27, 1880. It examined 157 witnesses, 
forty-seven of whom were listed as "colored." Its report, as 
finally submitted, embraced two volumes totaling 1,564 pages. 
Part I of the report was devoted to North Carolina, the only 
state specifically mentioned in the Voorhees resolution. The 
committee devoted the first nineteen days, between January 
19 and February 23, 1880, to North Carolina. Sixty-four wit- 
nesses, nineteen colored, were examined. 

8 Congressional Record, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, 124-25. 

9 Congressional Record, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, 159. 

10 Congressional Record, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, 170. 

22 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The responsibility for directing the movement of Negroes 
from North Carolina was placed by witnesses and by the 
Democratic members of the committee on two agencies and 
one group of Negroes. The agencies were the Emigrant Aid 
Society of Washington, D. C, and the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railroad. The Negro group was headed by Samuel Perry, 
Peter C. Williams, and Taylor Evans. 

According to testimony before the committee, the Emigrant 
Aid Society was organized as a charitable agency to aid 
emigrants from North Carolina, who had gotten as far as 
Washington, to go to Indiana, Ohio, and a few to Kansas. The 
leaders of the Society were: O. S. B. Wall, president, a native 
North Carolinian, veteran of the Civil War, lawyer, and the 
first Negro justice of the peace in the District of Columbia; 
and J. W. Cromwell, auditor, native Virginian and Treasury 
Department clerk. The Society was strictly a District of Co- 
lumbia institution, supported by voluntary contributions. 

The treasurer of the Society, A. M. Clapp, testified that the 
first contributions amounting to $39.00 were received on May 
6, 1879. Up to January 10, 1880, Clapp reported that approxi- 
mately $2,000 in contributions were received from individuals, 
churches, and societies. He presented to the committee an 
itemized statement showing that all funds received had been 
paid out for transportation of emigrants. 11 In answer to an 
inquiry concerning the scope and purpose of Negro emigra- 
tion, Cromwell replied that there was no movement except 
"in so far as it is entered into by persons, independently of 
each other, in their respective localities. No colored men could 
ever have originated this movement. It was spontaneous, so 
far as its origin was concerned." 12 

President Wall's theory of the exodus was that with the 
return of the ex-Confederates to power in North Carolina 
"things relapsed into pretty much their old condition . . . we 
have got into a state of things so dark and oppressive that 
there must be some ventilation." He held that Negro freedom 
was contingent upon their leaving the South. "I believe," he 
continued, "that it was a spontaneous movement, and if any- 

11 Senate Reports No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I, 36. 

12 Senate Reports, No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I, 13. 

The Great Migration from North Carolina 23 

body had any agency in it it was our Heavenly Father, the 
great Creator of us all." 13 

J. P. Dukehart, southern passenger agent of the Baltimore 
and Ohio Railroad, testified that he went to North Carolina 
on order of his employer to look into the matter of selling 
tickets to prospective emigrants. A commission (called a 
drawback ) for each ticket sold was allowed to the leaders of 
all emigrant parties. On this particular mission, Dukehart 
sold 763 tickets. For those emigrants who became stranded in 
Washington, the Emigrant Aid Society arranged with the 
B. & O. to carry them to Indianapolis for $9.00 per head, with 
a $1.00 drawback. 14 

Dukehart disclaimed any political motives in his dealings 
with the colored people. In his testimony he said that he made 
it perfectly clear to the prospective migrants that "I am here 
to sell tickets: If you don't want them I can get out/' In 
explaining the causes of the movement, he stated that "just 
as long as those people have money or can get money to pay 
their fare they will keep going until they receive letters from 
those ahead telling them not to come, or some of them are 
brought back to tell them the status of their affairs out 
there." 15 

The star witness during the period of the North Carolina 
hearings was a young former slave, Samuel L. Perry, then 
thirty years of age. Perry, along with the missing, and often 
referred to, Taylor Evans, was one of the chief engineers of 
the migration. Whether he was a tool of Republican poli- 
ticians, hoping to drain off enough of unneeded voters from 
North Carolina for service on the more crucial battlefront in 
Indiana, or whether he was a Moses commissioned by the 
Almighty to lead his people from Egypt to the land over 
Jordan, is not revealed by his testimony. 

According to this young Washington "expatriate" the idea 
of leaving the South was first broached in little meetings. As 
far back as 1872 pamphlets were received from Omaha, 
Nebraska, describing lands made available by the Homestead 

13 Senate Reports, No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I, 45, 46. 

14 Senate Reports No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I, 32 ff. 

15 Senate Reports No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I, 77. 

24 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Act. In revealing how he operated, Perry stated, "We would 
meet and talk about it Sunday evenings— that is, the laboring 
class of our pople— the only ones I know anything about; I had 
not much to do with big professional Negroes, the rich men. 
I did not associate with them much." 16 The first idea was to 
go out West in a colony. In 1876 a petition was sent to the 
North Carolina legislature praying that Congress be asked 
to set the Negroes apart somewhere in the West. "But," said 
Perry, "they gave us some schools and one thing or another, 
and we all got satisfied; that's the college you hear so much 
talk about and the asylum." 17 Perry next talked of conditions 
in North Carolina, conditions that throughout human history 
have spurred people to move. In the fall of 1878 the crops 
were short and times were hard, and there was a terrible 
"cleaning out" of colored people. Sometimes there would be 
two or three wagons at one man's house. People— both white 
and black— gathered in groups and talked of the impact of the 
mortgage system. 

Although a common farm laborer, Perry was above the 
average in literary attainments. He was a subscriber to the 
New York Herald, in which he read reports of people going 
to Kansas and other points west. "We thought we could go to 
Kansas," he continued. "We came together and formed our- 
selves into a colony of some hundred men; that was all we was 
to have. It was not to be considered an exodus; we did not use 
the word emigration. . . . We thought we could probably go 
North somewhere and find somebody that would stand be- 
hind us with money enough to help us." 18 The group hoped 
to receive money from the National Emigrant Aid Society, 
and presented to that organization the following petition sign- 
ed by 168 persons: 

We, the undersigned colored people of the second Congressional 
district of North Carolina, having labored hard for several years, 
under disadvantages over which we had no control, to elevate 
ourselves to a higher plane of Christian civilization ; and whereas 
our progress has been so retarded as to nearly nullify all our 

16 Senate Reports, No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I, 280. 

17 Senate Reports, No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I, 281. 
u Senate Reports, No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session Part I, 281. 

The Great Migration from North Carolina 25 

efforts, after dispassionate and calm consideration, our deliberate 
conviction is, that emigration is the only way in which we can 
elevate ourselves to a higher plane of true citizenship ; 
As our means are insufficient to emigrate without the aid of 
friends, we therefore petition your honorable body, through our 
worthy agents, Samuel L. Perry and Peter C. Williams, for aid 
to emigrate to some of the Western States or Territories. 
And we furthermore agree to be bound by any contract that they 
may enter into in these efforts to secure aid for our transporta- 
tion and settlement; and your petitioners will every pray. 19 

The members of the group raised $54.00 to send Perry and 
Williams to Kansas and southern Nebraska or Colorado. They 
left North Carolina on September 15, 1878, for Washington, 
where they presented their petition to the Emigrant Aid So- 
ciety. Perry and Williams were informed that the Society had 
no funds available to finance the proposed colony. They re- 
mained in Washington for thirteen days following the dis- 
couraging news. 

After receiving the adverse decision of the Emigrant Aid 
Society, the emissaries from North Carolina had to change 
their plans. Since no additional money to supplement the 
$54.00 was forthcoming from the home front, the two men 
went to Indianapolis rather than returning home. In the 
Indiana capital they lectured in a Negro Baptist Church and 
received a collection of $4.10. They used this money and what 
remained of the $54.00 and went to Greencastle, Indiana. 
Here they were told that homes and land could be found in 
Indiana. Why go to Kansas or Colorado? Here work was plen- 
tiful and wages good. According to Perry, however, he and 
Williams insisted that they were commissioned by their group 
in North Carolina to seek out lands in Kansas, Nebraska, or 
Colorado. The Indianians informed them that no assistance 
could be expected from those communities, so they returned 
to North Carolina with circulars extolling the glories of the 
Hoosier State. 

Senator Voorhees, the Indiana Democrat, questioned Perry 
very closely on his experiences in Indianapolis. He wanted to 
know if politics had anything to do with Perry's and Williams' 

19 Senate Reports, No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I, 36. 

26 The North Carolina Historical Review 

decision to go to Indianapolis and Greencastle when they had 
in the beginning only $54.00 and no promise of any additional 
funds. Perry finally admitted that Indiana Republicans were 
friendly to the movement, and that a total of $620.00 was 
raised in Indianapolis to pay the fares of persons wishing 
to go to Indiana. 

Throughout the hearings the gist of much of the testimony 
of witnesses— white and colored— was that Perry, Evans, Wil- 
liams, and other Negro leaders were primarily concerned with 
the drawbacks promised by the railroad companies. Perry 
emphatically denied he benefitted personally from his activi- 
ties, and stated that all moneys received by him and Williams 
were turned over to the Emigrant Aid Society. 20 

Upon his return to North Carolina, Perry was indicted for 
assisting in forging papers "or something of that kind. They 
called a witness on the stand, and one man swore very hard/' 21 
Before his case was called for trial Perry fled from North 
Carolina, thus forfeiting his bond. At the time of his appear- 
ance before the Senate committee he was a "fugitive from 

The fact that Perry was a former slave, that his experiences 
—with the exception of the trips to Washington and Indiana- 
had been confined to North Carolina, that he was not an 
educated man, and that he was out of line with "the big 
professional Negroes" makes his story of the causes of the 
movement interesting reading to say the least. 

There were, according to Perry, complaints of oppression 
among Negroes. He made much of the dissatisfaction with the 
laws of North Carolina, particularly the Landlord and Tenant 
Act 22 which forbade "a man moving any part of the crop till 

20 Senate Reports, No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I, 296. 

21 Senate Reports, No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I, 293. 

22 The much-discussed Landlord and Tenant Act was passed by the North 
Carolina General Assembly on May 12, 1877. Section 1 of the act provided 
that where lands had been rented or leased by written or verbal agreement, 
or cultivated by a cropper, all crops raised on such land would be considered 
the possession of the land owner at all times until the rent had been paid 
and all stipulations contained in the agreement should have been performed. 
If the stipulations had not been performed then such damages resulting 
therefrom would have to be paid. This lien, to quote a significant part of 
the act, "... shall be preferred to all other liens, and the lessor . . . shall 
be entitled against the consent of the lessor. . . "Laws and Resolutions of the 
State of North Carolina. The second session established safeguards for the 

The Great Migration from North Carolina 27 

his rent is paid, and leaves that to the landlord to settle him- 
self; he is the man to say about that as whether advances are 
made." The act, he continued, "gives the landlord the right to 
be the court, sheriff, and jury." 

Perry stated that there was widespread unrest among the 
colored population because, as he testified, "they cannot feel 
that their former masters will ever recognize them as their 
equals. They, cannot stand up to a white man and demand 
their rights, especially from their former masters, and they 
think, and I do, if we was out in some territory— I don't mean 
Indiana— I think it would be different." 

With reference to his relations with his own former master, 
William S. Perry, Samuel Perry related the following ex- 
perience: "I went to my old master . . . and worked with him 
up there in 1875, and he talked of putting a stick on me. I 
thought that I was a citizen, and that was going too far; but 
you know I could not go back and talk to him like any other 
man." 23 

Perry charged the courts with unfair treatment of colored 
people. Northern men who had established schools had been 
driven out; the people had been stripped of the right to elect 
county officers; there was a justice of the peace who declared 

that a "n is no more a human being than a horse is a mule." 

He complained of the existing road law in North Carolina 
which required ten days of labor each year from every able- 
bodied male between the ages of 18 and 45. They took a 
colored preacher out of the pulpit and put him to work, and 
"that busted up our revival." 

At the end of the pole, opposite Samuel Perry, was James 
E. O'Hara. O'Hara was born in New York but had been a 
resident of North Carolina since 1862. For five years he 
served as chairman of the board of county commissioners of 
Halifax County, as well as engrossing clerk of the 1868 Con- 
stitutional Convention, member of the 1875 Constitutional 
Convention, Republican presidential electoral nominee in 

tenant against conduct on the part of the landlord that was out of harmony 
with the terms of the agreement. The sixth section makes it a misdemeanor 
for the tenant or any other person to remove, from rented or leased land, 
the crop without the consent of the landlord. North Carolina Session Laws 
1876-77, Chap. 283. 

23 Senate Reports, No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I, 299. 

28 The North Carolina Historical Review 

1876, former member of Congress from the second North 
Carolina district, prosecuting attorney, and a plantation 

In the opinion of O'Hara, there was nothing spontaneous 
about the movement of Negroes from North Carolina. Rather, 
he claimed, it was "induced by a class of persons who come 
and tell the people they will get better wages by going to 
Indiana, and that when they get there they will be well taken 
care of." 24 In the matter of educational facilities, O'Hara 
stated that there was no discrimination between colored and 
white. He boasted that the North Carolina rural schools "will 
compare favorably with those in any rural district in any sec- 
tion of the country ." 

In the opinion of O'Hara the industrious colored men did 
not leave North Carolina. "So far as I can learn," he stated, 
"it is just the floating population that are leaving. ... I do not 
think that they are leaving for the same cause that people 
leave Germany, Ireland, Scotland, England, etc." 25 

As a former prosecuting attorney O'Hara testified that in 
the courts no true bill could be found unless a colored man 
was on the jury. Such discrimination as existed in the admini- 
stration of justice was against a man because he was poor, not 
because he was black. "There is the same race prejudice," he 
continued, "that there is between white men and colored men 
everywhere, but to a less extent than in some Northern States. 
The Southern man knows the Negro, the Northern man does 

When asked how prejudice was shown to a less extent in 
North Carolina than in the Northern States, O'Hara replied 
that it was shown from a social point of view. "For instance, 
in the North you will seldom see a white man and a colored 
man eating together; in the South it is nothing unusual to see 
that. It is nothing unusual in the South to see a white man 
driving a buggy and his servant sitting beside him; it is un- 
usual to see that in the North." 26 Senator Windom, one of 
the Republican members of the committee, broke in with, 

24 Senate Reports, No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I, 52. 

25 Senate Reports, No. 693, 46th Congresss, 2nd Session, Part I, 55. 

26 Senate Reports, No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I, 55. 

The Great Migration from North Carolina 29 

"I am trying to find the paradise for the Negro, and I think I 
have found it at last. There is no race prejudice at all down 

Another important Negro witness was Charles N. Otey, 
Otey was born in Raleigh in 1851 and stayed there until he 
was sixteen years old, but he had lived in Washington for 
eleven years. He was in the freshman class at Oberlin College 
for three months, and also attended Howard University, 
where he graduated from the liberal arts college in 1873, and 
from the law school in 1876. Otey edited a weekly newspaper, 
the Argus, and taught in a public county high school near 

He declared that "the most ignorant class in North Carolina 
had been deluded by Perry, Williams, and Taylor. . . . These 
three men had been among the most ignorant class of the 
country people and had told them that the United States 
government wanted them to go to Indiana," 27 Otey, who was 
an orator of note, spoke of the bitter opposition of practically 
every intelligent colored and white man in North Carolina 
to the exodus. "With malice toward none but with charity for 
all, I say that the exodus from North Carolina is a fraud." He 
stated that the most kindlv relations existed between the 
white and colored people, and that "the colored people (of 
North Carolina) as a mass are more intelligent than in any 
other Southern State. They always had more opportunities 
for acquiring an education. . . . They have what no other 
State in the South possesses— an asylum for the deaf, dumb, 
and blind. A Democratic legislature has appropriated money 
for the erection of an insane asylum. At present the colored 
insane are in the white asylum, than which there is no finer 
in this country." 28 

Ellis Hilliard, a colored farmer from Wilson County, stated 
that the associations between the races was of a pleasant 
character; that some colored people left the state just to have 
a big ride; and that the chief cause of the disturbance was 
whiskey. 5 


27 Senate Reports, No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I, 103. 

28 Senate Reports, No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I, 104. 

29 Senate Reports, No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I, 254ff. 

30 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Napoleon Higgins, [a Negro farmer from Goldsboro,] 
praised the Landlord and Tenant Act as a good law. Its 
object was to give the landlord a lien on everything that the 
tenant had. "I think," said Higgins, "I am entitled to that." 30 

Joseph Adams, [another Negro] from Goldsboro, reported 
that Taylor Evans told him that any colored man could make 
two or three dollars a dav in Indiana, and furthermore "that 
the colored and white people were about on an equality— all 
sociated together." Adams stated that he started to Indiana 
to make a better living. He was not influenced by the chance 
to marry a white woman, because he already had a wife. 31 

Julius A. Bonitz, white editor and proprietor of the Golds- 
boro Messenger, saw no reason why Negroes should leave 
North Carolina. There was no political oppression, and he had 
sought in vain for reasons for the migration. "Those who have 
left my section," he said, "are of a roving, migratory disposi- 
tion. They look upon the prospect of a journey north as a grand 
excursion. If the movement had continued as it began, several 
thousands, perhaps, would have left, where only a hundred 
had gone now. It has had a very demoralizing effect upon the 
laborer in our section." 32 Bonitz spoke of the meetings held 
under the auspicies of Perry and Williams. At these meetings 
speeches were made and the unpleasant features of North 
Carolina life were dwelt upon and exaggerated. 

Bonitz was of the opinion that educational facilities for the 
two races were equal. No discrimination was shown in favor 
of white mechanics, for instance. In fact, concludes Bonitz, 
"the condition of the colored population in our section has 
greatly improved, both morally and otherwise." 33 

E. C. Barden, a Goldsboro farmer-bank president, testified 
to the good feelings between the races. He attributed the 
exodus to one or two colored men ( Perry and Williams ) who 
were paid to influence the colored people. 34 

R. C. Badger also testified before the committee. A North 
Carolina office-holding Republican, he had served in the Gen- 

30 Senate Reports, No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I, 261. 

31 Senate Reports, No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I, 394, 395. 

32 Senate Reports, No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I, 133. 

33 Senate Reports, No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I, 134. 

34 Senate Reports, No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I, 208. 

The Great Migration from North Carolina 31 

eral Assembly. He was a member of the 1875 Constitutional 
Convention, was a justice of the peace, a prosecuting attorney, 
and a recorder of deeds. Badger told the committee that edu- 
cational facilities in North Carolina were better for Negroes 
than anywhere else in the South, and that in every other re- 
spect the lot of the Negro was improving. "I am intimately 
wrapped up in their projects," he stated. "I was opposed to 
slavery. . . . There was a time in 1871 up to about two and a 
half years ago that they were treated with great barbarity 
during the time of the K. K. . . . I took occasion to consult 
the colored solicitor . . . and he goes further and says that he 
sees no distinction made between them on account of their 
color at all. I do." 35 

How wide an area was affected by the exodus of Negroes 
from North Carolina? How many Negroes actually left the 
state for Indiana? What verdict, if any, should the student 
of history hand down after studying the available evidence? 
Unfortunately the answers to these questions are not clearly 
forthcoming from official records. 

The Republican minority on the special Senate committee 
alleged that in the spring of 1879 thousands of colored people 
from the states along the lower Mississippi, "unable longer to 
endure the intolerable hardships, injustices, and sufferings 
inflicted upon them by a class of Democrats in the South, had, 
in utter despair, fled panic-stricken from their homes and 
sought protection in Kansas; in the same year only a few 
hundred men, women, and children, discontented with their 
condition in North Carolina, and hoping to improve it, mi- 
grated to Indiana." Former congressman James E. O'Hara 
estimated that between 2,500 and 3,000 emigrants left North 
Carolina in the last six months in 1879. They were principally 
from Greene, Jones, Lenoir, and Wayne counties. Julius A. 
Bonitz, the Wayne County editor, indicated that only a hun- 
dred had gone, but he probably had his own county in mind. 

In its final report, submitted to the Senate on June 1, 1880, 
the special committee divided strictly along party lines. The 
Democratic majority attempted to show from witnesses sum- 
moned that there was no validity to the charges that Negroes 

35 Senate Reports, No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I, 398. 

32 The North Carolina Historical Review 

in North Carolina were being deprived of their citizenship 
rights. Positively, they sought to show that under the circum- 
stances, the Negro was fairly and justly treated, and that it 
would be to his disadvantage to go to Indiana. The Demo- 
crats also contended that politics motivated the movements 
of Samuel Perry and Peter Williams from Washington, D. C. 
to Indianapolis and Greencastle, Indiana, and that they were 
in touch with leading Republican politicians in Indiana who 
furnished the bulk of funds for transporting Negroes from 
North Carolina. 

The Republican members of the committee, on the other 
hand, sought to show that conditions in North Carolina were 
unfavorable to the Negroes. They minimized the importance 
of what they termed the "so-called exodus." They emphati- 
cally denied that political considerations had anything to do 
with the movement of Negroes from North Carolina to In- 
diana. "The utter absurdity of this theory should have been 
apparent to everybody, for if the Republican party proposed 
to import Negroes into Indiana for political purposes, why 
take them from North Carolina? Why import them from a 
State where the Republicans hope and expect to carry the 
election, when there were thousands upon thousands ready 
and anxious to come from States certainly democratic. Why 
transport them by rail at heavy expense half way across the 
continent when they could have taken them from Kentucky 
without any expense or brought them up the Mississippi River 
by steamers at merely nominal cost? Why send 25,000 to 
Kansas to swell her 40,000 Republican majority, and only 
seven or eight hundred to Indiana?" 36 

This has been a study of a period in our history following 
close upon the heels of a bloody civil war. In that war a once- 
proud people had been badly beaten and humiliated. The 
passions of men were at the boiling point. The defeated South 
—attempting to salvage something from the wreckage about 
it— set up the black codes, only to have the powerful Chicago 
Tribune remind it that the men of the North would convert 
the section into frog ponds before they would "allow any 

30 Senate Reports, No. 693, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I, vii. 

The Great Migration from North Carolina 33 

such laws to disgrace one foot of soil in which the bones of 
our soldiers sleep and over which the flag of freedom waves." 
Democrats, both North and South, were still smarting un- 
der the severe and poetic tongue-lashing given them by Col- 
onel Ingersoll in 1876. Said the orator: 

Every State that seceded from the Union was a Democratic 
State. Every ordinance of secession was drawn by a Democrat. 
Every man that endeavored to tear the old flag from the heaven 
it enriches was a Democrat. . . . Every man that shot down 
Union soldiers was a Democrat. . . .The man that assassinated 
Abraham Lincoln was a Democrat. . . .Every man that raised 
bloodhounds to pursue human beings was a Democrat. . . . Every 
man that tried to spread smallpox and yellow fever in the North 
was a Democrat. . . . Soldiers, every scar you have on your 
heroic bodies was given you by a Democrat. Every scar, every 
arm missing, every limb that is gone is a souvenir of a Demo- 
crat. 37 

In the light of the foregoing testimony, and in view of 
exaggerated statements made in the heat of political cam- 
paigns, it is the judgment of the writer that the migration of 
Negroes from the South in 1879 was not of extraordinary 
historical signficance. It was a perfectly normal movement 
and was to have been expected. It was a tragic movement, 
however, in that the migrants were social and political out- 
casts, fleeing a country where they, at the moment, would be 
tolerated only as drawers of water and hewers of wood. 
They sought a haven among strangers in a strange land— a 
land where the physical elements conspired to make life hard, 
and for which two and a half centuries of servitude had pro- 
vided scant preparation. The tragedy is further deepened 
by the fact that while the former slaves were responding to 
a natural urge to seek out a promised land where all would 
be peace, leaders in legislative halls attempted to turn their 
plight at home or abroad to political advantage. 

37 Morrison and Commager, Growth of the American Republic, II (New 
York, 1950), 8. 

By Lawrence S. Thompson 

A comprehensive examination of foreign (i.e., non-Eng- 
lish-language) travel books dealing with the United States 
during the period 1900-1950 has revealed twenty-six titles 
that contain material on North Carolina. Six are in Danish, 
six in German, six in Spanish (four Argentine, one Chilean, 
one Peruvian), four in French, and one each in Dutch, Nor- 
wegian, Swedish and Italian. In no case has any foreigner 
written a comprehensive travel book about North Carolina, 
and in most instances the state was an unavoidable part of 
an itinerary to and from Washington, D. C. and Florida. 
Nevertheless, the generally objective and disinterested char- 
acter of foreigners' comments is sufficient to justify recording 
all of these titles. 

In some instances there are "purple patches" which have 
their place in the documentary history of the state; and, 
strangely enough, it is not the world-famous authors, such 
as Julien Green and Johannes V. Jensen, who have written 
the most important descriptions of life and manners in North 
Carolina. Gunhild Tegen, a young Swedish girl, wrote an 
unforgettable account of religious experience among Ne- 
groes. Santiago Marin Vicuna's version of the enthusiasm of 
Cameron Morrison and Frank Page for good roads is a classic 
interview. It would be difficult to find a better description 
of Valdese than that of Edmondo Mayor des Planches. Hakon 
Mielche's discussion of the race problem is considerably more 
constructive than that which may be found in the books of 
hundreds of foreign do-gooders who have travelled in the 

Just as in the case of virtually every other southern state, 
except Kentucky and Missouri, the most interesting single 
topic of discussion for foreign travellers is the race problem. 
At least seven of the visitors to North Carolina give a good 
deal of attention to this subject. In general, the state is not 
as severely criticized as are nearly all states further south. It 

[34 ] 


Foreigners in North Carolina 35 

is significant to note, however, that most foreign travellers 
( the weltmiide Julien Green being the single exception ) con- 
fined their travels to the western side of the Atlantic Coast 
Line tracks, mainly in the Piedmont area but to some extent 
in the mountains. They know almost nothing about the posi- 
tion of the Negro in the economy of the North Carolina 
coastal plains. 

North Carolina's system of higher education ranks along 
with the race question in importance for foreign travellers. 
Seven foreigners visited the campus of the University of 
North Carolina at Chapel Hill, three visited Duke University 
(formerly Trinity College), and one visited North Carolina 
State College in Raleigh. In 1924-25 two Germans, an Ar- 
gentine, and a Chilean devoted a major portion of their time 
in the United States to an inspection of North Carolina's 
highways. The agricultural and industrial development of 
the state seems to have eluded foreign visitors; perhaps most 
of them had already been surfeited with evidence of Ameri- 
ca's industrial prowess during visits to the Northeast and 
Middle West. On the other hand, communities such as Dur- 
ham, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, High Point and Asheville 
leave visitors with a distinct impression of a nascent but 
sturdy bourgeois civilization not unlike that of the Middle 



Aabye, Karen. Dejligt at Amerika ikke ligger langt herfra. 
Copenhagen, Steen Hasselbalchs Forlag, 1949. 138 p. 
En route via Greyhound bus to Florida, Miss Aabye spends 
one night in a Raleigh tourist home and is charmed with 
the hospitality of that community. Date : Probably 1948. 

Beauvoir, Simone de. L'Amerique au jour le jour. Paris, 
Editions Paul Morihien, 1948. 390 p. 

Simone de Beauvoir, author of Le deuxieme sexe, looks at the 
South existentialist-style and is considerably less impressed 
by manifestations of racial antagonism and economic troubles 
in Raleigh than in other southern cities. Date : April 4, 1947. 

36 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Briickmann, H. R. Americana; ein Brevier fur Amerika-Reis- 
ende. Berlin-Neukolln, Verlag von Dr. Adolph Ihring Nachf., 
1938. 113 p. 

"Der amerikanische Mohr" (pp. 101-104) is the caption of the 
brief chapter describing the Negro as Briickmann saw him 
in New York, North and South Carolina, Alabama and Tennes- 
see. He simply describes typical characteristics of the Ameri- 
can Negro with no reference to social and economic problems. 
Date : Probably 1937. 

Chessex, Cyril. Pulsations americaines. Paris, La Hune, 1946. 
333 p. 

Chapter V ("Vers le sud," p. 165-172) gives roadside impres- 
sions of Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. 
Date: Sometime between 1940 and 1946. 

Clauson-Kaas, Knud. Vi ruller gennem Amerika. Copenhagen, 
Casper Nielsens Forlag A/S, 1948, 304 p. 
There are brief comments on the Dismal Swamp and Winston- 
Salem, pp. 51-61. Date: 1946-1947. 

Feuchtinger, Max, and Neumann, Erwin. Bericht ilber eine 
Studienreise in den Vereinigten Staaten von Nordamerika. 
Berlin-Charlottenburg, Studiengesellschaft fur Automobil- 
strassenbau, 1925. 74 p. 

Two German engineers study in detail the planning, construc- 
tion, and care of North Carolina highways. Date: Spring of 

Gandia, Enrique de. El gigante del norte; una vision de Estados 
Unidos. Buenos Aires, Editorial Claridad, 1942. 335 p. 
A guest of the State Department, Gandia visited Greensboro, 
Durham, and Chapel Hill and devotes considerable attention 
to descriptions of the University of North Carolina (Chapel 
Hill) and Duke University. He speaks with special approval 
of the programs of instruction in Hispanic studies. Date : 1941. 

Geist, Margarethe. Mit dem Eselwagen durch U. S. A. Heraus- 
gegeben von Adelgunde Gruner, mit farbigen und schwarzen 
Bildern von Marie Luise Scherer. Stuttgart, K. Thienemanns 
Verlag, 1933. 108 p. 

In this children's book there is a brief but lively account of 
Greensboro and Asheville, with particularly informative ob- 
servations on mountains and mountaineers near Asheville and 
Chattanooga. Date : 1912-1914. 

Green, Julien. Journal, 1935-1939, Paris, Librairie Plon, 1939. 
242 p. 

Foreigners in North Carolina 37 

Between pages 86 and 102 Green describes his rambles in ^Vir- 
ginia and North Carolina. He visited Murfreesboro, Durham, 
Nag's Head and Roanoke Island. In Durham he is amused by 
the naivety of a group of University of North Carolina stu- 
dents and by the famous statue of Bull Durham. All in all, it 
is one of the most pleasing (but not most significant) books 
in this list. Date : May 2, 1937— June 27, 1937. 

Jensen, Johannes Vilhelm. Fra Fristaterne; Rejsebreve, med et 
Tilbageblik. Copenhagen, Gyldendalske Boghandel, Nordisk 
Forlag, 1939. 137 p. 

Just as in the report of his trip undertaken in 1896 (Den ny 
Verden; til international Belysning af nordisk Bondekultur 
[Copenhagen, Gyldendalske Boghandel, Nordisk Forlag, 1907 ; 
254 p.] ) , Jensen's itinerary is not quite certain ; but it is known 
that much of his information came from a person familiar 
with conditions of the Negro in North Carolina. In his first 
book he touched upon none of the essential problems of race 
relations and viewed the Negro as a member of an inferior 
race. He is no more instructive in the report of his 1939 trip, 
and he complacently looks forward to a solution of the problem 
with full assimilation in a matter of one to five centuries. 
Date: 1939. 

Kurtz, Roberto. La verdad sobre Estados Unidos. Buenos Aires, 
Imprenta Luis Vegga, 1924 ( ?) . 300 p. 

Most of this book deals with the author's inspection of North 
Carolina highways in conjunction with the preliminary con- 
ference to the First Pan-American Highway Congress (Buenos 
Aires, 1925). He visited Trinity College (now Duke Univer- 
sity) , the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) , Yancey- 
ville, Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, 
King's Mountain, Chimney Rock, Asheville and Sylva ; and he 
includes many photographs of scenic and historic places. His 
main interest was highway construction and scenery. Date: 
May, June, July, 1924. 

Kuyper, H. S. S. Tweede reis naar Amerika; vier weken te Wash- 
ington (rondom de eerste Internationale Arbeidsconferentie). 
Amsterdam, W. ten Have, 1921. 117 p. 

Although Kuyper never went south of Washington, this title 
is interesting as a bit of North Caroliniana for the account, on 
pp. 37-43, of a trip down the Potomac with Josephus and Addie 
Daniels on the presidential yacht Mayflower. Date: Novem- 
ber, 1920. 

Leitner, Maria. Eine Frau reist durch die Welt. Berlin, Agis-Ver- 
lag, 1932, 200 p. 

The North Carolina Historical Review 

Chapter 5 •( 'Fahrt ohne Geld in den Sudstaaten") includes a 
brief visit to the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) 
with a cursory description of the plant. Date : 1932 ( ?) . 

Marin Vicuna, Santiago. Por los Estados Unidos. Santiago de 
Chile, Editorial Nascimento, 1925. 276 p. 
Marin Vicuna, a member of the Pan-American Highway Com- 
mission, visited North Carolina to inspect the state's roads. He 
describes visits with Governor Cameron Morrison and High- 
way Commissioner Frank Page, whom he calls "fanatic pro- 
ponents of good roads"; with Professor Sturgis E. Leavitt at 
the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), where he was 
pleased by the library's collection of Latin- Americana ; and 
with industrial leaders in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High 
Point, Charlotte, Asheville, and Sylva. There is a brief survey 
of North Carolina history with special reference to her high- 
ways, and interesting sidelights on traditions and customs. 
Date: June, 1924. 

Mayor des Planches, Edmondo. Attraverso gli Stati Uniti per 
V emigrazione italiana. Torino, Unione Tipografico-Editrice 
Torinese, 1913. 321 p. 

In Salisbury (pp. 87-90), where he was shown about by Con- 
gressman Henderson, Mayor des Planches sees a typical small 
southern city. Valdese (pp. 90-98) is described in some detail, 
especially with respect to its economy but also with reference 
to the Italian background of the towns people. George Vander- 
bilt squired him on his brief inspection of Asheville (pp. 98- 
99). Date: July, 1911— November, 1912. 

Mielche, Hakon. Owe i Staterne. Copenhagen, Steen Hasselbalchs 
Forlag, 1938. 351 p. 

Mielche, a correspondent for Jyllands Posten, toured the en- 
tire South, stopping in North Carolina at Winston-Salem, 
Franklin, and Durham. He is remarkably sensitive to the basic 
elements of life in each locality he visited, and his treatment 
of Negroes and poor whites shows considerable insight into 
the basic problems. Date February-June, 1938. 

Nielsen, Roger. Amerika i Billeder og Text. Copenhagen, H. 
Aschehoug & Co., 1929. 319 p. 

This work by a press attache at the Danish Legation in Wash- 
ington is one of the most monumental of all travel books on 
twentieth-century America. Each state is given a separate sec- 
tion and is treated from geographical, historical, political, 
ethnological, sociological, economic, commercial, educational 
and agricultural standpoints. Date: Probably shortly before 

Foreigners in North Carolina 39 

Reissig, Luis. Algunas observaciones de un viaje por America. 
Buenos Aires, Colegio Libre de Estudios Superiores, 1947. 48 p. 
On p. 36 there is a brief note on the Chapel Hill campus of 
the University of North Carolina, but there is no further in- 
formation on programs on instruction and research at this 
institution. Date: 1946. 

Repetto, Nicolas. Impresiones de los Estados Unidos. Buenos 
Aires, Libreria y Editorial "La Vanguardia," 1943. 253 p. 
Repetto, a Latin American journalist brought to the United 
States during the last war by the Office of the Coordinator of 
Inter-American Affairs, gives a factual account of North Car- 
olina State College, Raleigh, on pp. 4-8, with high praise for 
its programs of instruction and research, especially in the 
agricultural field. Date: 30 April-5 August 1943. 

Rojas, Rosa Maria. Estados Unidos romantico. Lima, Enrique 
Bustamente y Ballivian Co., 1942. 53 p. 

On pp. 9-20 there is a poem entitled "La Chapel Hilliada" de- 
scribing the impressions of a group of Latin American stu- 
dents who visited the Chapel Hill campus of the University 
of North Carolina on February 27, 1941. The treatment is 
extremely superficial. Date: 27 February 1941. 

Ross, Ralph Colin. Von Chicago nach Chungking ; einem jungen 
deutschen erschliesst sich die Welt. Berlin, Verlag Die Heim- 
bucherei, 1951. 252 p. 

This is a rather refreshing travel book by a young German 
who was killed in Russia in 1941. With his parents he travelled 
southward from Richmond to Florida, giving his impressions 
of North Carolina on p. 70. His notes are brief but striking, 
especially with relation to the Negroes and the salient geogra- 
phical characteristics of the countryside. Date : 1939 ( ?) . 

Scheffer, Paul, and Clauss, Max, and Krauss, Julius. USA 1940 ; 
Roosevelt- Amerika im Entscheidungsjahr. Berlin, Im Deuts- 
chen Verlag, 1940. 206 p. 

On pp. 59-60 there are brief notes on the tobacco factories of 
Durham, Duke University, and the Chapel Hill campus of the 
University of North Carolina. The treatment is rather super- 
ficial and always from the Nazi viewpoint. Date: 1939-1940. 

Skard, Sigmund. Amerikanske problem. Trondheim, F. Bruns 
Bokhandels Forlag, 1949. 164 p. (Edv. Normanns Legats 
Skrifter, No. 1). 
Skard does not indicate an itinerary, but he did visit North 


The North Carolina Historical Review 

Carolina and was acquainted with North Carolinians. On pp. 
92-97 he discussed the Negro problem in the South condemning 
the situation but offering no constructive ideas. Date: Skard 
spent the entire period of World War II in the United States. 

Tegen, Gunhild Nordling. Jorden runt i krigstid. Uppsala, J. A. 
Lindblads Forlag, 1948. 350 p. 

Miss Tegen's extended tour of the South gives a great deal of 
attention to the race problem. In Durham, N. C, she manages 
to see a trace of the Negro's religious attitudes during the 
course of a visit to a service at White Rock Baptist Church. 
Date: 1941. 

Thomas, Louis. Les Etats-Unis inconnus. Paris, Librairie Acade- 
mique, 1920. 288 p. 

Charlotte (p. 189-199) is described as a typical medium-sized 
southern city, with brief historical notes, descriptions of its 
physical aspects, and accounts of civic activities. Date: 1919. 


By C. A. Weslager 

Until recent years, the fishing community of 500 to 600 
people occupying the southwest end of Ocracoke Island, a 
twelve-mile ribbon of sand between Pamlico Sound and the 
Atlantic Ocean, had little direct contact with the outside 
world. Now the modern forces of radio, an occasional motion 
picture, parties of visiting fishermen, and jeeps left by the 
U. S. Navy during the war on a previously motorless island 
have stimulated acculturation. Nevertheless, as recent as 
the summer of 1949 the inhabitants still had no doctor, den- 
tist, undertaker, jail, police officers, paved streets, or local 

Part of the present population is descended from the so- 
called "bankers" whose livelihood was partially dependent 
upon the spoils of the sea. 1 This segment of the population 
still speaks a language which in idiom and accent is unlike 
that heard on the Virginia or Carolina mainland. Popular 
writers have referred to this manner of speech loosely and 
perhaps inaccurately as "Elizabethan" although there can 
be no doubt that some of the seventeenth and eighteenth 
century English has survived in the speech. 2 

The early English influence is also very strong in the place 
names on Ocracoke, and this article attempts to show some- 
thing of the people through the names given to places. First, 
let it be stressed that the majority of the place names have 
not been previously recorded, either on maps or state docu- 

1 "Bankers" were notorious spoilers who salvaged cargoes from wrecked 
ships and pillaged vessels anchored off the island. William B. Marye has 
brought to my attention a number of references in the Colonial Records of 
N. C, one of which under date of April 4, 1749, is pertinent: "Information 
he received on his way to Newbern gave him reason to suspect that the 
Bankers (a set of people who live on certain sandy islands lying between 
the Sound and the Ocean, and who are very wild and ungovernable, so that 
it is seldom possible to excite any Civil or Criminal Writs among them) 
would come in a body and pillage the ships, etc." William L. Saunders, 
compiler. The Colonial Records of North Carolina, IV (Raleigh, 1886), 1305. 
See also Volume XII, 140, 488 for additional reference to wrecks and 
wreckers on Ocracoke. 

2 A. Brown, "Cape Stormy; Carolina Outer Banks," The Saturday Evening 
Post (August 3, 1940). 


42 The North Carolina Historical Review 

ments. For example, the Geological Survey Map of North 
Carolina (Washington, D. C, April, 1942) shows the island, 
but "Ocracoke" is the only place name given. The United 
States Coast and Geodetic Survey, published in 1928 and re- 
issued in 1939, gives for Ocracoke and surrounding waters 
only thirteen place name entries, two of which are indicated 
simply as "hill." 3 

With the cooperation of local informants, the writer has 
compiled a list of place names on the island and in the sur- 
rounding waters. These names have been passed down orally 
as a sort of cultural heritage from one generation to the next. 
Since many of them have never before been written, the 
spellings are the writer's interpretation of the local pronun- 
ciation. The names have been classified according to physical 
features to which they apply and in the few instances where 
"(m)" appears opposite a name it indicates that there is a 
prior recording on the 1939 Geodetic Survey referred to 

The chief interest in these names is from the point of view 
of their relationship to history, folklore and linguistics. It is, 
the task of the geographer to project them on a map, if such 
can be accomplished for so small an area. The ever-changing 
land features represent problems to the cartographer; for 
example, two inlets on the ocean side called "Northern Pond" 
and "Southern Pond" were obliterated in a storm several 
years ago, and an islet called "Negro Island" was similarly 

The list follows: 4 

Reefs and Shoals 

Legged Lump (m) Cockle Shoal 

Clark Reef (m) Beacon Island Shoal 

Terrapin Shoal (m) Buoy Shoal 

Howard Reef (m) Long Rocks 

3 The most recent U. S. Coast Geodetic Survey 6th edition, Oct., 1942, 
does not even show the designation "hill," although a point on the middle 
of the island is given as "The Knoll." This and "Silver Lake" are the only 
topographical entries on the map for Ocracoke Isand. 

4 1 wish to acknowledge the assistance of Needham Simpson, Howard 
O'Neal, George O'Neal, John O'Neal, Horace Gaskin and Jane Bryant. My 
companions during this study were Dr. Clement Cobb and Dr. Millard 
Squires, whose advice and cooperation is also appreciated. 

Place Names on Ocracoke Island 


Six Mile Hammock Reef 
Western Reef 
Drum Shoal 
Mullett Shoal 


Piney Beach 
"the beach" 

Ocracoke Bar 
Green Island Shoal 
Diamond Shoal 
Hog Shoal 
Austin's Reef 
Guess's Reef 


Great Swash 
Little Swash 
Bitter Swash 
Scrag Cedars 
Tar Hole Plain 

Hill, Knolls and Hammocks 

The Knoll (m) 

Goat Hill 

Look Shack Hill (also called 

Loop Shack Hill) 
First Hammock 
Second Hammock 
First Grass 
Second Grass 
Little Grass 
Big Grass 


Gap Point (m) 

Blackbeard's Point (known also as Springer's Point) 

Kwawk Point 

Stone Rock 

Horse Pen Point 

Kwawk Hammock 
Styron's Hill 
Scrag Cedar Hill 
Parker's Hill 
Six Mile Hammock 
Kent's Castle 
Teach's Castle 

Hammock Woods 


Cockle Creek (or simply "the creek") 

"The Ditch" 

"The Gut" 

Big Gut 

Little Gut 

Middle Creek 

Molasses Creek 

Big Oyster Creek 

Little Oyster Creek 

John Gaskin's Creek 

Jack Brandy's Creek 

Knoll Woods 

Shingle Creek 
Pilinterry Creek 
Island Creek 
Hammock Creek 
Old Slew Drain 
"The Wells" 

44 The North Carolina Historical Review 


Green Island (m) (also called "Outer Green Island") 
Little Green Island (m) (also called "Inner Green Island") 
Knoll Island 
Cockle Creek Island 


Silver Lake (m) (recent name given to artificial harbor — for- 
merly called Ocracoke Creek or Cockle Creek) 

Miscellaneous Names and Expressions 

"down the banks" (used loosely for area north of Ocracoke Vil- 
lage in the direction of Hatter as Inlet) 

"round creek") 

"down point") (places near Ocracoke Village) 

"up Trent" ) 

Teach's Hole 

Wahab Village (village is locally pronounced "willage;" it is 

named for Stanley Wahab, a prominent island- 
er who is allegedly descended from an Arab 

Cupola (m) sailor who washed ashore many years ago) 

"this side of creek" ) 

"that side of creek") (places in Ocracoke Village) 

"the plains" ) 

"point of the beach") (places along the ocean side of the island) 

The names on the foregoing list can be broadly classified 
as (a) self-descriptive topographical terms; (b) names of 
birds, fishes, and animals followed by a qualifying topograph- 
ical term; (c) personal names similarly qualified; (d) places 
named for happenings, and (e) miscellaneous general terms. 

All are so-called "little" names which originated with un- 
lettered people, not the government, and became establish- 
ed through folk usage. Perhaps there is no better example 
in America of the place name pattern of the earliest English 
settlers which, due to the isolation of Ocracoke Island, escaped 
mainland political influences for more than 200 years and 
still survives. Here we find such simple, unimaginative terms 
as big and little, down and up, nrst and second ; 
names which are a gauge of distance from a given point, i.e., 

Place Names on Ocracoke Island 45 

"Six Mile Hammock"; names typical of the homely practice 
of using a river or creek as a natural dividing line, e.g., "this 
side of [the] creek" versus "that side of [the] creek"; or 
simply "round [the] creek." 

The personal names attached to places (Parker, Styron, 
Austin, Howard, Clark, Guess, John Gaskin, Jack Brandy) 
also hearken back to an English custom of acknowledging 
the individual and his property in place names. 5 These per- 
sons have long since been dead, but their names live on in 
the folk toponymy through periods of changing land owner- 
ship. It is significant that the names were those of ordinary 
landowners and fishermen— not heroes or historical figures. 

"Hog Shoal" illustrates the island practice of naming a 
place after an event which happened on the spot. It was, so 
the story goes, because hogs were once found stranded there. 
"Tar Hole Plains" and "Molasses Creek" are said to have re- 
ceived their names from ships carrying cargoes of tar and 
molasses that washed ashore during storms. In these instances, 
events in the unwritten history of Ocracoke are preserved in 
the place names. 

The Ocracoke place name list abounds in old and middle 
English words; many of these still apply in their oldest mean- 
ings, as given in the Oxford Dictionary. For example, there 
are no fresh water streams on the island, and the occupants 
are dependent upon the rain for their needs. A "creek," there- 
fore, is truly a "tidal channel" and the term is used in a very 
specific way, as it was in early England. The word "scrag" in 
eighteenth century England referred to a stumpy tree; thus 
"Scrag Cedars" is self explanatory. "Shingle," to the former 
bankers of Ocracoke, referred both to a thin piece of wood 
and to a specialized physical feature. "Shingle Creek," ap- 
parently deriving from the latter, was once used in the sense 
of a beach covered with loose pebbles. 6 

5 George Stewart, Names On the Land (N. Y., 1945), comments on 
this practice as applied to other areas where English influence was strong. 

6 Allen Mawer, edition, The Chief Element Used in English Place-Names 
(Cambridge, 1924). Folk etymology at Ocracoke has it that a vessel loaded 
with shingles was once wrecked there which gave the creek its name. Along 
the ocean beach to the north may be seen the timbers from wrecked ves- 
sels. One whose prow is still discernible is called "the ghost ship." 

46 The North Carolina Historical Review 

"The Wells" describes a place where fresh water, after a rain, 
rises to the surface, corresponding to the early English con- 
cept of a natural well as an issue of water from the earth. 

"Great Swash" and "Bitter Swash" are also of interest; a 
swash was once a body of water moving forcibly or dashing 
against something, the word being onomatopoeic. Today 
both names are applied to areas on the narrowest part of the 
island, although the stranger viewing the expanse of sand 
would have difficulty finding where "Great Swash" ends and 
"Bitter Swash" begins. 

In "First Grass," "Second Grass," "Big Grass," and "Little 
Grass" the word grass is applied in the obsolete meaning of 
herbage in general, and not in the modern restrictive sense of 
the true grass family ( Poaceae ) . 

"Reef" is used in the limited sense of a long, narrow ridge 
of sand or rock in the water, whereas "Shoal" means a place 
where the water is shallow. The words "hammock" (hum- 
muck), "gut," "point," "hole," and "knoll" further attest to 
early English origins of topographical terms rarely applied 

With two exceptions Indian words are absent from the fist, 
although place names from Indian languages are well repre- 
sented at nearby places in North Carolina. 7 The name of the 
island itself is a modification of Wocokon, first so recorded in 
1585 by Grenville. 8 Later spellings were given as Woccocon, 
Woccocock, Ocacoc, Occocock, Ocacock, and finally Ocra- 
coke. 9 Wocokon is probably derived from the Algonkian 
wakauan, meaning "curve" or "bend," perhaps from the shape 
of the island. The other Indian word is terrapin, which occurs 
in "Terrapin Shoal," but this is a transfer word that cannot 
necessarily be attributed to local Indians. The writer made an 

7 It is well known that Hatteras is from the native word Hatorask, and 
Manteo was a helpful Indian who was one of the first native "Virginians" to 
be Christianized. See Travels & Works of Captain John Smith, Bradley- 
Arber edition (Edinburgh, 1910), 310; and Robert Beverley, History of 
Virginia (Richmond, 1855), 14. Other Carolina Indian Place-names are 
found on John White's map, reproduced in H. S. Burrage edition, Early 
English and French Voyages (N. Y., 1906), 248. 

8 "The voiage made by Sir Richard Greenville" in Hakluyt's Voyages. 
Everyman's Library Edition (New York, 1926) VI, 132-139. "The 26 we 
came to anker at Wocokon, etc." 

9 These names are discussed in the undated pamphlet: Alice K. Rond- 
thaler, The Story of Ocracoke (Channel Press, Ocracoke Island). 

Place Names on Ocracoke Island 47 

archaeological reconnaissance of Ocracoke, and was unable to 
find any evidence of a former Indian occupation. This doubt- 
less explains the paucity of Indian place name survivals, and 
also confirms Mook's opinion, based on historical data, that 
Ocracoke was never inhabited by Indians. 10 

Blackbeard the pirate (Edward Teach) holds a cherished 
position in Ocracoke tradition and folklore, reflected in the 
place names "Blackbeard's Point," "Teach's Castle," and 
"Teach's Hole." It will be remembered that on November 
22, 1717, Lieutenant Maynard captured the pirate's vessel, 
the Adventurer off Ocracoke, and there slew him. "Teach's 
Hole" refers to the alleged site of the combat in Pamlico 
Sound, and "Blackbeard's Point" and "Teach's Castle" are 
names given to the place on Ocracoke where the pirate is 
supposed to have lived. Folk etymology has it that on the 
night preceding his capture Blackbeard, impatient for dawn, 
cried out, "O crow cock! O crow cock!" which gave the island 
its name. This belief persists even though Ocracoke was so 
called a century before Blackbeard's time. 

Among the other place name oddities worthy of comment 
are the following: 

"Legged Lump" refers to two sandy reefs off the island in 
Pamlico Sound. They formerly had the appearance of a pair 
of gigantic human legs, which resulted in the name "Two 
Legged Lump," later contracted to "Legged Lump" or 
simply "Leggedy Lump." 

"Kwawk Hammock" and "Kwawk Point" derive from the 
breeding places of the black-crowned night heron, the word 
"kwawk" referring to the bird's shrill cry. 

"Goat Hill" is a sandy promontory resembling the shape of 
a goat. 

"Horse Pen Point" is a place where formerly wild horses 
were corralled. There are still a few wild horses on the island, 
which are rounded up each year on the Fourth of July. 

"Look Shack Hill" is a modern name originating during 
the last war when the United States Navy erected a radar 

10 Maurice A. Mook, "Algonkian Ethnohistory of the Carolina Sound," 
in two parts, Journal, Washington Academy of Sciences, XXXIV (1944), 
No. 6, 182-197; XXXIV (1944), No. 7, 214-228. 

48 The North Carolina Historical Review 

station on one of the sand knolls on the ocean side of Ocra- 
coke. Although this station has since been dismantled, a 
designation persists, in which the Anglo-Saxon "look" is com- 
bined with an American colloquilism, resulting in an interest- 
ing synthesis. 

"Old Slew Drain" employs "slew" or "slue" (from the 
middle English "slogh" or "slough") in the sense of mud or 

"Pilinterry Creek" is spelled as the name registered on the 
writer's ears, the term originating with a briar bush growing 
on the island. It may be the corruption of an old word used 
by Captain John Smith in describing Virginia herbs: "There 
is also Pellitory of Spaine, Sasafrage and divers other simples 
which the Apothecaries gathered and commended to be good 
and medicinable." 11 "Pellitory" today is used botanically for 
a genus of low herbs of the nettle family entirely unlike the 
pilinterry bush of Ocracoke. 12 The latter has been identified 
as Zanthoxylum Clava-Her culls L., commonly called the 
Toothache Tree from the folk belief that chewing the fresh 
leaves will cure toothache. This practice is not prevalent 
today at Ocracoke, although other native plants, such as the 
Eupon, are used medicinally. 13 

In summarizing this study, it may be said that the uncom- 
plicated, unromantic place names on Ocracoke Island con- 
stitute a folk glossary that is exclusively the product of the 
island population. Every section of the island, from sandy 
waste to an old slew, has a specific designation known to the 
occupants, which has been perpetuated by word of mouth. 
All of the names have topographical applications and the 
majority of them had their origins with earlier generations 
having an English background. The names, in many ways, 
reflect the simplicity of the living pattern of an unsophisti- 
cated fishing community and, as we have seen, they give us 

11 Travels and Works of Captain John Smith, 59. 

^Julius Bryant, a member of Ocracoke's only colored family, pointed 
out the bush to me. A clipping was obtained, and later identified by Dr. 
Robert R. Tatnall. 

13 An unidentified plant, bearing a small pink flower, is locally known 
as "snake flower." Ocracokians say that if a person steps on it a snake will 
bite him. The wild gailardia is known as the "Joe Bell" flower, named for 
the person who first brought it from the mainland. 

Place Names on Ocracoke Island 49 

clues to events in the island history. Regardless of the social 
evolution that is taking place, the place name pattern has 
stubbornly resisted change, and will doubtless persist until 
stronger influences are brought into play. When this takes 
place— if we may be permitted to speculate— we may expect 
the older place names to be blotted out and supplanted by 
newer ones. It would be highly interesting to compile a list 
of the Ocracoke place names twenty to fifty years hence for 
comparison with those of today. 14 

14 1 am indebted to Mr. Ben Dixon MacNeill for bringing to my attention 
the following additional Ocracoke names which were not communicated 
by my informants: Cuttin' Sage Lake, Upper Road Shoal, Blair Channel 
Reef, Shell Castle Reef, Big Foot Slue, and Nine Foot Shoal. 



By Philip M. Rice 

In the period immediately following the American Revolu- 
tion, commercial rivalry between states brought forth several 
attempts to settle disputes over trade routes and to establish 
closer cooperation among the commonwealths. While some 
of these efforts resulted in changes of national importance, 
others were of local concern and their impact on interstate 
relations frequently has been overlooked. It is within the lat- 
ter category that the Roanoke project occupies a significant 
role. Its history has been chronicled on more than one occa- 
sion, but the story has been limited to North Carolina's 
development of the waterway. 1 Consequently, the fact has 
been generally overlooked that the attempts to improve the 
Roanoke mark one of the first efforts by two states of the 
Union to institute and carry to fruition a cooperative under- 
taking in the realm of internal improvements. 

The course of action followed by North Carolina and Vir- 
ginia in their combined efforts to develop the Roanoke water- 
way depended to a considerable extent on the peculiar 
geographic factors involved. Had the river merely risen in 
one state and found a natural outlet in the other, many of the 
actual problems would have been simplified. The Roanoke, 
however, is made up of several branches, one of which— the 
Dan which rises in Patrick County, Virginia— flows twice 
through North Carolina before joining the Roanoke and the 
Staunton at Clarksville. The last two rivers have their origin 
in Virginia's Blue Ridge and after their conflux with the Dan 
flow once again into North Carolina where their waters empty 
into a branch of Albemarle Sound. Since the absence of an 

1 Three accounts include the history of the Roanoke project from the 
standpoint of North Carolina's internal improvement program: Charles 
Clinton Weaver, Internal Improvements in North Carolina Previous to 
1860, Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science, 
XVII (Nos. 9-11, 1899) ; J. Allen Morgan, "State Aid to Transportation in 
North Carolina," The North Carolina Booklet, X (January, 1911), No. 1, 
122-154; Clifford Reginald Hinshaw, Jr., "North Carolina Canals before 
I860," The North Carolina Historical Review, XXV (January, 1948), 
No. 1, 1-56. 


Early Development of the Roanoke Waterway 51 

adequate, natural passage to the ocean prevented the estab- 
lishment of a seaport on the sound, the commerce of the 
Roanoke and the Albemarle region tended to seek its market 
in Norfolk. Thus the course of the river and the destination 
of its trade gave Virginia a natural advantage which North 
Carolina found difficult to overcome. 2 In the period from 
1783 to 1830, Virginia bent her efforts toward the retention 
and further development of that advantage, whereas North 
Carolina attempted to divert the Roanoke trade to her own 
account. Although the resulting controversy was decided in 
favor of the former state, the fact that two such divergent in- 
terests were combined at all was due in large part to the 
conscious endeavors of groups in both states to carry out a 
cooperative undertaking. 

The initial attempt to open the Roanoke and exploit its 
commercial possibilities developed from Norfolk's efforts to 
regain her pre-Revolutionary superiority as a port. In the 
early part of the eighteenth century, Norfolk became the chief 
market center for the produce of a large portion of North 
Carolina and Virginia. 3 During the ensuing years this position 
was so strengthened and enlarged that, by 1775, the citizens 
of the town were able to contemplate a brilliant future in 
which their teeming harbor would be the principal mart for 
the entire Chesapeake and Albemarle regions. 4 Within a year, 
however, there fell a blow that threatened to remove Norfolk 
from future consideration as a major seaport. In 1776, the 
disastrous fire which swept the city destroyed virtually all 
commercial activity and gave the more advantageously sit- 
uated town of Portsmouth a chance to usurp her neighbor's 
hard-won trade. 5 Before Norfolk could fully recover from the 
effects of the conflagration, the situation was rendered even 

2 William Henry Hoyt, editor, The Papers of Archibald D. Murphey 
(Raleigh, 1914), II, 36-38, 125-130, 136. 

3 William Kenneth Boyd, editor, William Byrd's Histories of the Dividing 
Line Betwixt Virginia and North Carolina (Raleigh, 1929), 36. 

4 Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker, Norfolk, Historic Southern Port (Dur- 
ham, 1931), 50-51. 

5 Fillmore Norflett, editor, "Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Gosport as Seen 
by Moreau de Saint-Mery in March, April and May, 1794," The Virginia 
Magazine of History and Biography, XLVIII (July, 1940), 260-262; Report 
of Wilson Cary Nicholas on the annexation of Gosport to Portsmouth, 
December 6, 1783, Virginia House Journal (November-December, 1783), 51. 

52 The North Carolina Historical Review 

more untenable by the activities of a group of Richmond 
merchants. Aspiring to make their town a seaport in its own 
right, these merchants attempted a series of devious maneu- 
vers which were intended to make Richmond the place of 
transfer for all trade descending the James, and thus deprive 
Norfolk of a major share in the commerce of the interior. 6 

Staggering under a double blow the citizens of Norfolk 
made a determined effort to regain commercial pre-eminence 
for their town. This not only involved stalemating Richmond's 
plans for becoming the emporium of all James River produce, 
but also required the development of a trade route with the 
interior and the exploitation of a productive back country. It 
was to accomplish this that plans were devised for a con- 
tinuous water connection from Norfolk to the mountains by 
way of Albemarle Sound and the Roanoke River. 

It fell to the lot of Patrick Henry to be the agent for secur- 
ing legislative sanction for the project. On May 28, 1783, 
Henry introduced in the Virginia General Assembly a bill 
providing for the improvement of the Roanoke and its 
branches. 7 Three days later he brought forth a second measure 
which capitalized on an eleven-year-old plan for cutting 
canals from the Elizabeth to the North River. 8 The approval 
of both measures by the General Assembly placed the entire 
project on a new level. 9 What had started out as a device to 
enhance the position of one city had now become a matter of 
concern to the inhabitants of both states. Without the sanction 
of North Carolina the improvements on the Roanoke could 
not become a reality. Descending traffic on the river was 
effectively barred from tidewater by the falls at Weldon, and 
only North Carolina could provide the necessary passage. 
Nor could the connection between Norfolk and the Albemarle 

6 Virginia House Journal (1781-1782), 34-35; Virginia House Journal 
(October-December, 1782), 61; Memorial of Thomas Mann Randolph and 
others of the city of Richmond, December 11, 1785, Legislative Petitions 
of Richmond City, Virginia State Library. 

'Virginia House Journal (May-June, 1783), 8, 23. 

8 Virginia House Journal (May-June, 1783), 29. The original survey had 
been authorized in 1772. William Waller Hening, The Statutes at Large; 
Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia from the First Session of 
the Legislature, in the Year 1619, (Richmond, Philadelphia, and New York, 
1819-1823), VIII, 570. Cited hereinafter as Statutes at Large. 

9 Both measures were passed in June, 1783. Hening, Statutes at Large, 
XI, 250-252, 332-334. 

Early Development of the Roanoke Waterway 53 

be successfully completed without similar cooperation. Vir- 
ginia could construct a canal from the Elizabeth River to 
Currituck Sound, but the remainder of the route to the North 
River lay entirely within the jurisdiction of North Carolina 
and would thus have to be undertaken by that state. 

Because of the obvious advantages of that portion of the 
project which would give the farmers of the interior a direct 
communication with tidewater, the North Carolina legislature 
was quick to consider the Roanoke improvements. 10 Acting 
on a measure presented by Benjamin Hawkins in May, 1784, 
the General Assembly sanctioned the Virginia proposal and 
adopted a similar system of appointing trustees for clearing 
the river, with the provision that the work be undertaken 
from the Virginia line to tidewater. 11 The second part of the 
plan, however, did not receive the support of the legislature, 
and during the ensuing years the conflict over the North Caro- 
lina-Norfolk connection came close to wrecking the entire 

Meanwhile, Virginians were finding it difficult to agree 
upon the most practicable route for the canal between the 
Elizabeth River and the waters of Albemarle Sound. Late in 
1784, the proposals for the North River connection were tem- 
porarily shelved while the Virginia General Assembly began 
consideration of a more easterly route through the Dismal 
Swamp and along the ground urged by George Washington. 12 
Unlike the original plan, which could have been undertaken 
in separate segments by each state, the nature of the new 
project made it mandatory that a mutual agreement be reach- 
ed before construction of the canal could be started. Con- 
sequently, on January 1, 1785, the governor of Virginia ap- 
pointed commissioners to meet with a corresponding group 
from North Carolina for the purpose of selecting the best 
route for the canal. 13 

10 Walter Clark, editor, The State Records of North Carolina, (Raleigh 
and Goldsboro, 1886-1907), XIX, 575. 

11 Clark, State Records of North Carolina, XXIV, 600-602. 

^Virginia House Journal (1784-1785), 102; George Washington to 
Hugh Williamson, March 31, 1784, John Clement Fitzpatrick, editor, The 
Writings of George Washington from the Orignial Manuscript Sources 
1745-1799, (Washington, 1931-1944), XXVII, 378-380. 

13 William P. Palmer, editor, Calendar of Virginia State Papers and 
other Manuscripts from 1652-1869 (Richmond, 1875-1893), IV (January 
1, 1758-July 2, 1789), 12. 

54 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Before the commissioners could be notified of their appoint- 
ment the legislatures of both states adjourned. 14 As a result, 
when the Virginia General Assembly reconvened late in the 
fall, there was no way of knowing whether or not North 
Carolina would support the Dismal Swamp project. Rather 
than lose valuable time, however, the legislature appointed 
a special committee to draw up a bill to incorporate the Dis- 
mal Swamp Canal Company. 15 Although the project was 
received with both apathy and antipathy the committee set 
to work, and under the guidance of William Ronald, who had 
made a personal inspection of the route to the Pasquotank, 
and James Madison, who was adept at drafting joint stock 
organizations, the measure gradually took shape. 16 When the 
proposals were finally completed, Governor Patrick Henry 
sent the whole, along with an earnest plea for cooperation, 
to Governor Caswell of North Carolina. 17 

The expected cooperation was not forthcoming. Whether 
by design or accident Governor Henry's proposals were not 
communicated to the North Carolina General Assembly dur- 
ing the session of 1785-1786. Considerable agitation for the 
canal did exist, but there were those who would not counte- 
nance a measure intended to drain the commerce of the 
Roanoke and Albemarle regions into the port of a rival state. 18 
Had the governor sided with those who desired a market in 
Norfolk it is possible that the North Carolina legislature 
would have sanctioned the Dismal Swamp project at the next 
session. Richard Caswell, however, did not wish to see Vir- 
ginia's welfare enhanced at the expense of his own state. 

14 Palmer, Calendar of Virginia State Papers, IV, 17. 

15 Virginia House Journal (1785-1786), 35. 

16 James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, January 22, 1786, Gaillard Hunt, 
editor, The Writings of James Madison Comprising His Public Papers and 
His Private Correspondence, Including Numerous Letters and Documents 
now for the First Time Printed, (New York, 1900-1910), II, 221; James 
Madison to George Washington, December 9, 1785, Hunt, The Writings of 
James Madison, II, 199. Patrick Henry to George Washington, January 18, 
1786, William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry, Life, Correspondence and 
Speeches, (New York, 1891), III, 343; Patrick Henry to George Washington, 
November 11, 1785, Henry, Patrick Henry, III, 334. 

17 Patrick Henry to Richard Caswell, January 25, 1786, Clark, State 
Records of North Carolina, XVIII, 506-507. 

18 Richard Caswell to Abner Nash, March 11, 1786, Clark, State Records 
of North Carolina, XVIII, 507; Patrick Henry to George Washington, 
November 11, 1785, Henry, Patrick Henry, III, 334-335. 

Early Development of the Roanoke Waterway 55 

Months before the General Assembly met he sought to drum 
up opposition to the canal, 19 and in his message to the legis- 
lature on November 20, 1786, he pointedly drew attention to 
the loss of prestige which North Carolina would suffer were 
the state to acquiesce in the project. 20 

The attitude of the governor was to have its effect on the 
General Assembly. Under the leadership of James Galloway, 
a trustee for the Roanoke improvements, a committee was 
formed to meet with the special commissioners from Vir- 
ginia. 21 Working together, the representatives of the two 
states drafted a bill to provide for the construction of the 
Dismal Swamp Canal through North Carolina. The unusual 
attempt at interstate liaison came to naught, however, when 
by a vote of 56 to 30 the House of Commons decided to hold 
the bill over until the next session. 22 

Having temporarily shelved the Virginia proposals, the 
North Carolina General Assembly focussed its attention on a 
project designed to render unnecessary the connection with 
Norfolk. In 1787 and in 1788, acts were passed authorizing 
subscriptions to be raised for opening a passage between 
Albemarle Sound and the ocean in the vicinity of Roanoke 
Island. If this were accomplished, North Carolina could estab- 
lish her own seaport capable of handling the Roanoke trade 
and thus dependence upon Virginia would cease to be a 
factor. 23 In the meantime, Virginia had gone ahead with the 
incorporation of the canal company, 24 but in vain did Gover- 
nor Randolph urge North Carolina to recognize the corpora- 
tion. Governor Samuel Johnston dodged the issue by stating 
that the North Carolina Assembly had been prorogued in 
December, 1787, before it could receive the Virginia proposal, 

19 Richard Caswell to Abner Nash, March 11, 1786, Clark, State Records 
of North Carolina, XVIII, 507. 

20 Clark, State Records of North Carolina, XVIII, 234. 

21 Governor Henry originally appointed William Ronald and the Rev- 
erend Robert Andrews as Virginia's commissioners, but Ronald was forced 
to withdraw to attend his dying wife and John Cowper was assigned in 
his place. Clark, State Records of North Carolina, XVIII, 26, 36, 56-57, 266, 
506-507; Patrick Henry to George Washington, January 18, 1786, Henry, 
Patrick Henry i II 343 

22 Clark, State Records of North Carolina, XVIII, 94, 350-351. 

23 Clark, State Records of North Carolina, XXIV, 932, 965-966. 

24 Virginia incorporated the Dismal Swamp Canal Company on December 
1, 1787. Hening, Statutes at Large, XII, 478-494. 

56 The North Carolina Historical Review 

and when he finally did submit the measure the following 
November, he did so without recommendation that it be 
adopted. 25 

Two more years were to go by before North Carolina could 
be induced to forego her attempts to reach the ocean and 
concur in the act establishing the Dismal Swamp Company. 
Even then the measure did not pass without first overcoming 
heavy opposition. 26 Yet once an agreement was attained the 
esulting unanimity seemed complete. Each state made all of 
the rivers, bays, and sounds connecting the Dismal Swamp 
Canal common highways and open to the traffic of both states 
without discrimination in regard to tolls or duties. 27 

The delay in reaching an agreement on the Dismal Swamp 
Canal had, of course, reacted upon the proposed improve- 
ments of the Roanoke. Lacking the incentive for undertaking 
the project until the outlet for the Roanoke trade had been 
determined, the trustees appointed in 1783 and 1784 failed 
to commence work on the waterway. Consequently, when 
North Carolina sanctioned the Dismal Swamp Canal in 1790, 
both states found that new plans for the Roanoke had to be 
promulgated. 28 Thus, after seven years of controversy, the 
legislative problems involved in the cooperative undertaking 
were finally resolved. Even so the work was not pushed to 
completion, and a quarter of a century was to pass before the 
practical and financial handicaps could be overcome and the 
improvement of the waterway begun. 

During the period from 1792 to 1812, work on the Dismal 
Swamp Canal progressed slowly. Aided by its ability to draw 
capital from the Commonwealth of Virginia and the citizens 
of Norfolk, the company carried to fulfillment a portion of the 

25 Beverly Randolph to Samuel Johnston, January 17, 1788, Clark State 
Records of North Carolina, XXI, 439; Samuel Johnston to Beverly Ran- 
dolph, January 22, 1788, Clark, State Records of North Carolina, XXI, 440. 
Samuel Johnston's message to the General Assembly of North Carolina, 
November 5, 1788, Clark, State Records of North Carolina, XXI, 11. 

28 The bill to incorporate the canal company passed the House of Commons 
by a vote of 54 to 41, Clark State Records of North Carolina, XXI, 1015. 
For a vr**y strongly worded petition protesting the establishment of the 
company see Clark, State Records of North Carolina, XXI, 1082-1083. 

27 James Iredell, Public Acts of the General Assembly of North Carolina, 
(Raleigh, 1804), II, 494-500; Hening, Statutes at Large, XII, 478-494. 

28 Clark, State Records of North Carolina, XXI, 799, 963 ; Hening, Statutes 
at Large, XIII, 193-194. 

Early Development of the Roanoke Waterway 57 

original plan. 29 The Roanoke improvements, however, re- 
mained but words on the statute books. The waterway had 
not been placed under a joint-stock organization but had been 
dependent for its finances on the subscription system of the 
colonial period. Furthermore, neither North Carolina nor 
Virginia subscribed money for the project and there was no 
large banking center, in the Roanoke area, from which private 
capital could be secured. 80 Some of the financial disabilities 
were overcome, but not until the period following the War of 
1812 did circumstances prove favourable for the renewal of 
the Roanoke project on a successful basis. 

Shortly before the war, however, Virginia did press for the 
completion of the waterway. In January, 1811, the common- 
wealth appointed commissioners to agree with North Carolina 
on the most practicable plan for extending the Roanoke to 
tidewater, and simultaneously the General Assembly began 
consideration of a bill to open the river and all of its navigable 
branches. 31 North Carolina proved to be more than amenable 
to the renewal of the project and went so far as to propose 
that the necessary surveys be undertaken at her own expense. 
The suggestion ended the spirit of congeniality; Virginia took 
exception to the method of financing the survey and soon 
withdrew her support. 32 The immediate burden for the con- 
tinuation of the project thus fell upon North Carolina and, in 
1812, that state chartered the Roanoke Navigation Company 
to improve the river from Halifax to the Virginia line. 83 

The incorporation of an independent North Carolina com- 
pany turned Virginia thinking into new channels. While dis- 
gruntled citizens talked about establishing a local corporation 
to work on the Virginia sections of the river, 34 Governor James 
Barbour urged the construction of a canal connecting the 

29 [First] Annual Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1816), 
7-8; Alexander Crosby Brown, "The Dismal Swamp Canal," The American 
Neptune, a Quarterly Journal of Maritime History, V (July, 1945), 208- 
213; W. P. Palmer, editor, Calendar of Virginia State Papers, IX, 460-461. 

30 For the effect of insufficient banking capital on internal improvements 
see "Dialogue between Crito and Midas on the Banking Capital of Vir- 
ginia," Enquirer (Richmond), April 23, 26, 1805. 

31 Virginia House Journal (1810-1811), 87, 90. 

32 Virginia, House Journal (1810-1811), 106. 

33 Henry Potter, Laws of North Carolina, II, 1240-1259. 

34 Wilson Cary Nicholas to [James Barbour], undated letter in Wilson 
Cary Nicholas Papers, Library of Congress. 

58 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Roanoke and the Appomattox. 35 Were the governor's sugges- 
tion to be carried out, Petersburg would receive the trade 
normally flowing through North Carolina and both the Roa- 
noke and the Dismal Swamp Canal companies would be 
shorn of future profit. Yet, in spite of possible injury to the 
corporations, plans were advanced for an elaborate survey of 
the route to be undertaken by no less an outstanding engineer 
than Benjamin Latrobe. 36 North Carolina, however, was not 
to be intimidated by her neighbor's threats to turn the Roa- 
noke trade into Petersburg. In an attempt to gain prestige for 
the Albemarle route, efforts were made to secure the services 
of canal engineers as able as Latrobe. Accordingly, in 1813, 
Peter Browne, one of North Carolina's leading advocates of 
internal improvements, undertook to interest both Benjamin 
and Loammi Baldwin in surveying the Roanoke-Albemarle 
route. 37 

The divergent interests of North Carolina and Virginia 
might well have impaired the future of the Roanoke improve- 
ments had not the British invasion of the Chesapeake region 
forced aside all action in regard to the proposed surveys. 
During the remaining months of the war squabbles over the 
canal project were forgotten, and with the restoration of 
peace a new era of good feeling temporarily prevailed in the 
two states. Concurrently with this change in attitude there 
came a nation-wide upsurge of internal improvement fever 
that swept both North Carolina and Virginia along in its 
wake. Beginning in 1815, both states undertook consideration 
of full scale river and canal programs in which the Roanoke 
waterway played a significant role. During November and 
December Archibald D. Murphey completed and submitted 
to the North Carolina Assembly the first of his famous presen- 
tations on the establishment of a state-wide system of internal 
improvements. In it he emphasized the need for opening the 

^Virginia House Journal (1812-1813), 8, 27, 119. 

36 Latrobe offered to survey the route between the Roanoke and the Ap- 
pomattox for $5,000, an unusually large sum for the time. Virginia House 
Journal, (1812-1813), 27. 

87 Peter Browne to Benjamin Baldwin, June 4, 1813, letter in possession 
of the author. By way of comparison with Latrobe's fee, Loammi Baldwin 
requested but $3 per diem each (plus all expenses) for himself and his 

Early Development of the Roanoke Waterway 59 

Roanoke to tidewater and for establishing a port on the Albe- 
marle to handle the resulting trade. 88 Some months before, 
Virginia's governor, Wilson Cary Nicholas, had privately 
urged the improvement of the Roanoke waterway to Nor- 
folk, 39 and in his December message to the General Assembly 
he reiterated the necessity for including the waterway in any 
general scheme of public works which the state might adopt. 40 

The inclusion of the Roanoke project in Virginia's system 
of internal improvements proved to be one of the most for- 
tuitous factors in consummating the interstate project. The 
original North Carolina corporation of 1812 had not been 
successful in raising money or in improving the river. A new 
company had been organized in 1815 and the capital had 
been raised from $100,000 to $300,000. In spite of the fact that 
Murphey's plans for a general system of public works did not 
meet with the approval of the legislature, the state did agree 
to subscribe $25,000 in the stock of the new company when 
private citizens had taken $150,000. Even this incentive did 
not have the desired effect. Not until further inducements 
were offered and Virginia had entered the picture was there 
widespread feeling that the Roanoke improvements would at 
last take shape. 41 

The new note of optimism developed from the fact that, 
during the winter of 1815-1816, the Virginia legislature had 
become committed to a policy which favored the immediate 
completion of the Roanoke waterway. At that time the state 
was preparing to adopt an over-all program of internal im- 
provements. In order to gain the support of tidewater repre- 
sentatives the promulgators of the program played up the 
Roanoke-Albemarle-Norfolk waterway as the major plum for 
the area below the fall line. 42 In further substantiating the 
value of the Roanoke as a major avenue of trade between the 

38 Hoyt, The Papers of Archibald D. Murphey, II, 19, 23. 

38 Wilson Cary Nicholas to Littleton Waller Tazewell, May 15, 1815, 
Wilson Cary Nicholas Papers, Library of Congress. 

^Virginia House Journal (1815-1816), 6-7. 

"Potter, Laws of North Carolina, II, 1240-1259, 1330-1336, 1381-1385; 
Niles' Weekly Register, X (June 5, 1816), 371-372; Daily National In- 
telligencer, June 4, 1816. 

42 Virginia House Journal (1815-1816), 6-7, 75; Wilson Cary Nicholas 
to Littleton Waller Tazewell, May 15, 1815, Wilson Cary Nicholas Papers, 
Library of Congress. 

60 The North Carolina Historical Review 

mountains and the coast, the state's public works advocates 
arranged for a practical demonstration of the river's navigable 
potentialities. Under the direction of Colonel William Lewis, 
a boat built near the mouth of the Otter River was loaded 
with mountain flour and launched at Greenhill on the Staun- 
ton. Carrying its cargo three hundred and forty miles down 
the Roanoke, across Albemarle Sound, and up the Dismal 
Swamp Canal, the vessel arrived in Norfolk concurrent with 
the legislative debates on the internal improvement program. 43 

Encouraged by the practical demonstration and by the 
passage of an act to create a fund for internal improvements, 
private interests promptly secured a charter for a company to 
improve the Roanoke and its branches within Virginia. 44 As an 
inducement to investors, the General Assembly exempted the 
company's canals, locks, and profits from taxation, and set the 
value of the shares at the unusually low figure of $50— an 
amount which could effectively compete with the $100 shares 
being offered by the rival North Carolina corporation. 45 Al- 
though the provisions of the act might well have secured the 
support of private capital, Virginia's newly-organized Board 
of Public Works was unwilling to chance the company's 
failure. Consequently, the Board made a strong and success- 
ful appeal for the private funds which were necessary to 
secure the company's organization. 46 

As a result of Virginia's action two independent corpora- 
tions began organizing to improve different sections of the 
same river. Each would have competed for capital in the same 
region and neither would have benefited from the advantages 
of centralized management or from a common source of tech- 
nical advice. In an attempt to rectify the situation the Virginia 
legislature decided to combine existing resources and thus 
nullify the competition. As a result, the capital of the Virginia 
company was increased; the state promised to subscribe to 

43 Richmond Enquirer, December 19, 1815, quoting The Norfolk Ledger; 
Enquirer, December 21, 1815, quoting Norfolk Beacon. 

44 The act creating an internal improvement fund was passed on February 

5, 1816, and the charter for the Roanoke Navigation Company was secured 
two weeks later. Virginia Acts (1815-1816), 35, 73. 

^Virginia Acts (1815-1816), 73-82. 

46 [First] Annual Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1816), 

6, 11; Daily National Intelligencer, July 11, 1816. 

Early Development of the Roanoke Waterway 61 

$80,000 of the stock and offered to place the corporation under 
the directorship of the North Carolina enterprise. 47 While the 
combination that resulted from this offer was a notable 
achievement in the realm of interstate relations, it in no way 
ended the controversy between the two states. 48 Since leaders 
in both commonwealths were determined that their own state 
should derive the profits of the Roanoke trade, there began 
a contest for control of the navigation company— the outcome 
of which was to determine the ultimate fate of the waterway. 
Early in the course of the company's organization it became 
evident to interested citizens of both commonwealths that the 
surest way to influence the Roanoke improvements was to 
dominate the board of directors through a majority control of 
the stock. The State of Virginia had already taken a step in 
this direction by subscribing $80,000 in the stock of the cor- 
poration. This was considerably more than $25,000 which 
had been offered by North Carolina. 49 Even though the North 
Carolina legislature later subscribed to an additional $25,000, 
the state's total stock never equalled the amount held by 
Virginia. 50 The distribution of private capital followed a 
similar pattern. North Carolinians attempted to purchase stock 
in the navigation company with funds secured from banks in 
the Roanoke region. The effort did not go unchallenged, how- 
ever, and Virginians in the Danville area and elsewhere soon 
organized a drive to secure the capital necessary to control the 
outstanding shares and thus counteract the private invest- 
ments made by rivals across the state line. 51 Only a small 
portion of those shares had to be cornered in order to give 
Virginians control of the navigation company. The town of 

47 Virginia Acts (1816-1817), ch. 41; Virginia Acts (1817-1818), ch. 63. 

48 Under the Virginia act passed during the legislative session of 1817- 
1818, the Roanoke Navigation Company of 1816 was to be re-established if 
North Carolina did not assent to the offer of consolidation. Consequently 
North Carolina did assent to the joint company during the legislative ses- 
sion of 1818-1819. Potter, Laws of North Carolina, II, 1418-1432. 

49 Both subscriptions were made to the individual companies chartered 
in 1815 and 1816, and were later transferred to the consolidated company. 
Virginia Acts (1816-1817), 73; Potter, Laws of North Carolina, II, 1330- 
1331, 1431. 

60 North Carolina subscribed to the additional shares in 1823. North 
Carolina Acts (1823-1824), 19. 

_ 51 William B. Banks to George [Townes] Halifax, December 12, 1818, Wil- 
liam Cabell Rives Papers, Library of Congress. 

62 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Norfolk and its residents had subscribed $100,000 in the stock 
of the company and that amount, coupled with the subscrip- 
tion made by the Virginia Board of Public Works, accounted 
for almost forty-four per cent of the Company's authorized 
capital. Consequently, acquisition of an additional $26,550 
assured the Virginians of at least nominal direction of the 

Virginia's financial control of the Roanoke-Norfolk project 
was even more pronounced in the case of the Dismal Swamp 
Canal. The State of North Carolina invested no money in the 
stock of that project whereas Virginia subscribed to $81,500 
during the years from 1791 to 1817. 53 In 1837 the Board of 
Public Works increased the commonwealth's share by an ad- 
ditional $108,500, making a total investment of $190,000 in an 
authorized capital of $486,000. Of the remaining stock, $200,- 
000 was held by the United States government and the larger 
portion of the $96,000 privately held shares were owned by 
citizens of Virginia. 54 

The fact that Virginia contributed heavily to both the 
Roanoke Navigation and the Dismal Swamp Canal Company 
not only alleviated North Carolina from much of the financial 
burden but proved to be a factor in the stability of the entire 
enterprise. The panic of 1819 worked hardships on many in- 
ternal improvement projects, but failed to interrupt work on 
the interstate waterway. The Dismal Swamp Canal Company 
thwarted the adverse effects of the depression by successfully 
appealing to the Virginia Board of Public Works for addi- 

52 The total authorized capital was $412,000, but the company never col- 
lected more than $395,900, except during one period when the subscrip- 
tions paid in amounted to $397,289. Thus Norfolk and the Board of Public 
Works controlled approximately forty-five percent of the paid-up stock. 
Eighteenth Annual Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1833), 
192; Annual Report of the Internal Improvement Companies of Virginia to 
the Board of Public Works, Year Ending September 30, 1858, 516; William 
S. Forrest, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Norfolk and Vicinity 
(Philadelphia, 1853), 197. 

53 The state subscribed $12,500 in 1791, $5,000 in 1799, and $64,000 in 
1817. Hening, Statutes at Large, XIII, 264; Samuel Shepherd, The Statutes 
at Large of Virginia, from October Session 1792, to December Session 
1806, (Richmond, 1835-1836), II, 40; Virginia Acts (1816-1817), 82-83. 

54 Twenty-Second Annual Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works 
(1837), 125; Fortieth Annual Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works 
(1857), 359. The United States made its first subscription ($150,000) in 
1826. United States Statutes at Large, VII, 478. 

Early Development of the Roanoke Waterway 63 

tional monetary aid. 55 Already heavily subsidized by two 
states, the Roanoke Navigation Company required no supple- 
mentary financing. Drawing on the $80,000 allotted by Vir- 
ginia, the company continued its work unaffected by those 
conditions which caused every other internal navigation com- 
pany, in which North Carolina had invested, to become 
deficient in funds. 56 

Any advantage which North Carolina might have realized 
as a result of her neighbor's monetary support was nullified, 
however, by the fact that Virginia could, and did, control the 
activities of both companies working on the Roanoke and 
Norfolk waterway. North Carolina had planned to use the 
Roanoke Navigation Company as the agent for making what- 
ever improvements would be necessary to draw trade from 
the northern part of the state and from southern Virginia. In 
fact, one of the principal arguments used by Archibald D. 
Murphey in promoting the internal improvement fund of 
1819, was that the fund would aid in bringing the produce of 
the Roanoke region to some North Carolina port from which 
it could be exported. 57 In order to carry out that plan it was 
necessary to divert the Roanoke trade from Norfolk to a dis- 
tribution center on Albemarle Sound. During the early 1820's, 
North Carolina's newly organized Board of Public Improve- 
ment selected Plymouth as the most logical site and proceeded 
to work out the details necessary to consummate the scheme. 
Acting on the advice of its engineer, Hamilton Fulton, the 
Board laid out plans for a connection between the upper and 
lower waters of the Roanoke. The proposed canal was de- 
signed to permit relatively small river batteaux of the interior 
to descend as far as Plymouth instead of stopping above 

55 The company borrowed $137,500 from the Board of Public Works in 
the period 1819-1824. Virginia Acts (1818-1819), 95; Virginia Acts (1820- 
1821), 55; (1823-1824), 56. When the money was repaid a portion of it 
was converted into stock and retained by the Board. Nineteenth Annual 
Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1837), 125; Virginia Acts 
(1836-1837), 137. 

56 Statement of John Branch, Annual Report of the Board of Public 
Improvements of North Carolina, November 27, 1820, viii, x. 

57 Archibald DeBow Murphey, "A View of the Internal Improvements 
Contemplated by the Legislature of North Carolina," Report of Sundry 
Surveys, Made by Hamilton Fulton, esq. State Engineer, Agreeably to Cer- 
tain Instructions from Judge Murphey, Chairman etc. and Submitted to the 
General Assembly, at Their Session in 1819 (Raleigh, 1819), 9ff, 23 ff. 

64 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Weldon as circumstances then required. At Plymouth goods 
could be loaded into steamboats and distributed throughout 
the eastern part of the state or, if an inlet were cut through 
to the ocean, the goods could be transferred to ships and 
exported abroad. 58 

The reaction to the plan exposed the sharply divergent aims 
of the Virginia and the North Carolina directors. Accepting 
that part of the project which would best fit the interests of 
the stockholders, the Roanoke Navigation Company locked 
the upper river into the basin at Weldon. 59 There was, how- 
ever, no disposition to go further and complete the canal to 
the lower river. As long as Weldon remained the mart for 
products descending the river the goods accumulated there 
would be reloaded in barges and shipped through the Dismal 
Swamp Canal to Norfolk. The directors could see no point 
in incurring the expense of continuing the canal further. To 
do so would but substitute Plymouth for Weldon as a market 
center and would deprive Norfolk of its proper share of the 
river trade. 60 

Attacking the attitude of the directors, Hamilton Fulton 
charged the company with creating a monopoly and forcing 
the Roanoke farmers to sell in a non-competitive market. 61 
Shortly thereafter the North Carolina legislature, hoping to in- 
still some competition between Weldon and Plymouth, voted 
an additional subscription to the stock of the company on con- 
dition that the funds be applied exclusively to locking the 
canal from the basin at Weldon to the lower river. 62 The 
Virginia stockholders did not desire to accept the grant. At 
the meetings which were called to discuss the matter feeling 
among the stockholders ran high, but because the directors 

58 Annual Report of the North Carolina Board of Public Improvements 
(1821), xi; Annual Report of North Carolina Board of Public Improvements 
(1822), iv. 

59 Eighth Annual Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1823), 

60 Reports of the Roanoke Navigation Company in Ninth Annual Report 
of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1824), 36-39; Eleventh Annual 
Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1826), 25; Twelfth Annual 
Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1827), 22; Thirteenth An- 
nual Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1828) , 24. 

61 Report of Hamilton Fulton, December 10, 1822, Annual Report of the 
North Carolina Board of Public Improvements (1822) , iv. 

62 North Carolina Acts (1823-1824), 19-20. 

Early Development of the Roanoke Waterway 65 

and a majority of the stockholders represented Virginia's 
interest the North Carolina offer was shelved. 63 Its plans 
temporarily upset, the North Carolina Board of Public Works 
made an effort to compromise with the company by permitting 
any part of the $25,000 not expended in completing the canal 
to be used on other sections of the river. 64 Still the directors 
were not tempted. Estimating the cost of the locks at $44,000, 
they pointed out that Virginia would have to pay the de- 
ficiency. 65 Since it could not be expected that the state would 
lay out $19,000 for a project disadvantageous to the common- 
wealth, the Virginia Board of Public Works failed to recom- 
mend an appropriation for the additional locks, thus giving 
silent consent to the company's policy. 

In 1828, the directors of the Roanoke Navigation Company 
suddenly reversed their position and agreed to lock the canal 
from the basin to the lower river. The decision was not reached 
from any desire to see Plymouth receive the batteaux of the 
upper river. It had long since been ascertained that the Roa- 
noke from its mouth to the shoals below Weldon would pro- 
vide good steamboat navigation. 66 According to the directors, 
if the canal were constructed on a proper scale, steamboats 
operating from Norfolk could enter the existing basin and load 
their cargo at Weldon's docks. 67 The change in attitude on the 
part of the officials reflected the influence of the Virginia, and 
particularly the Norfolk, stockholders. The improvements on 
the upper river had recently been completed to the prescribed 

63 For the best of the official accounts of the division between Virginia 
and North Carolina stockholders, see Annual Report of the North Carolina 
Board for Internal Improvements (1828), 5-6. There is some mention of 
the stockholders meetings and the postponement of the North Carolina offer 
in Annual Report of the North Carolina Board of Public Improvements 
(1823), 31; Annual Report of the North Carolina Board of Public Improve- 
ments (1824), 10-13. 

64 The compromise was made by the Board and not by the General 
Assembly. Annual Report of the North Carolina Board of Public Improve- 
ments (1825), 19. 

65 Report of the Roanoke Navigation Company, November 4, 1824, Ninth 
Annual Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1824), 35-36. 

66 Report of the North Carolina Board of Internal Improvements 
(1821), xi. 

67 Report of the Roanoke Navigation Company, November 8, 1828, Thir- 
teenth Annual Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1828), 24; 
Annual Report of the North Carolina Board for Internal Improvements 
(1828), 6, 27-28; Report of Andrew Joyner, December 10, 1831, Sixteenth 
Annual Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1831), 32. 

66 The North Carolina Historical Review 

destination at Salem and the works on the Dan were almost 
finished. 68 Consequently, for the first time, the trade of the 
entire river system could be brought directly to Weldon in- 
stead of being carted northward at points where the naviga- 
tion had previously been unimproved. 69 

That Norfolk would be the emporium for the produce thus 
accumulated was assured before the directors announced 
their decision to complete the canal to the lower river. In fact, 
plans had already been set afoot to establish a direct steam- 
boat connection with Norfolk. 70 Early in 1829, through the 
agency of the newly organized Virginia and North Carolina 
Transportation Company, the steamboat Petersburg and 
eight sixty-ton barges were placed in operation between 
Weldon and Norfolk. 71 The action coincided with the open- 
ing of the Dismal Swamp Canal for coastal navigation, but 
preceded the completion of the locks from Weldon to the 
lower Roanoke. 72 Consequently, it was impossible for the 
steamboat to enter the basin as originally planned or to send 
its lighters above the shoals. 73 Nor was navigation at the other 
end more promising; the Petersburg, which could barely 
squeeze through the canal, had to meet the company's barges 

68 The navigation of the Roanoke from Weldon to Salem, Virginia, was 
244 miles. The improvements on that route were completed in 1828. Shortly 
thereafter the Dan was opened as far as Danville, but navigation on the 
river was seriously impeded until 1834. Thirteenth Annual Report of the 
Virginia Board of Public Works (1828), 24-25; Nineteenth Annual Report 
of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1834), 480-481. 

69 Roanoke produce was frequently taken by wagon from Danville, Green 
Hill, Milton, and Clarksville to Lynchburg, Richmond, and Petersburg. For 
a discussion of those routes and costs of transportation see the statement 
of Andrew Joyner in Report of the Roanoke Navigation Company, 1827 
(Raleigh, 1827), 10-12. 

70 Thirteenth Annual Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works 
(1828), 24. 

71 Annual Report of the North Carolina Board for Internal Improvements 
(1829), 6; Halifax Minerva, April 30, 1829. 

72 Work on the canal was commenced on December, 1828, but the locks 
were replanned by Claudius Crozet in the following March. The delay was 
due to the defalcation of the North Carolina engineer who planned the 
original work. The canal was not completed until 1833. Annual Report of 
the North Carolina Board for Internal Improvements (1829), 6, 8-9; Nine- 
teenth Annual Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1834), 480. 
The Dismal Swamp Canal had been enlarged and was opened for coastal 
navigation in December, 1828. Thirteenth Annual Report of the Virginia 
Board of Public Works (1828), 14-15. 

73 Halifax Minerva, December 17, 1829; Roanoke Advocate, August 12, 26, 

Early Development of the Roanoke Waterway 67 

in the Pasquotank instead of carrying them all the way to and 
from Norfolk. 74 

In spite of the difficulties encountered in effecting an 
adequate steamboat transportation between Weldon and Nor- 
folk it was obvious that, in one way or another, Virginia 
would receive the greater benefits from the joint undertaking 
on the Roanoke. Prominent North Carolinians, including 
James Iredell and Joseph Caldwell, had already abandoned 
the hope of creating a rival distribution center without first 
cutting an outlet to the sea or running canals to an existing 
port on the southern coast. 75 The advent of the steam and 
barge line to Weldon merely emphasized the fact that North 
Carolina could either resign herself to Virginia's monopoly of 
the Roanoke trade or else exert every effort in cutting a pas- 
sageway to the ocean. 76 

Yet, even had North Carolina been able to prosecute the 
more vigorous course, there was no certainty that Virginia 
would permit the commerce of the Roanoke to be diverted 
from her own shores. In order to satisfy local interests both 
the Virginia legislature and the Board of Public Works kept 
alive the plans of 1812 for transferring the Roanoke trade to 
the James River ports. In fact, when the legislature made its 
offer to consolidate the Roanoke Navigation Company with 
the existing North Carolina enterprise, the Board of Public 
Works examined the feasibility of linking the Roanoke with 
the Appomattox. 77 In 1818, Loammi Baldwin surveyed the 
route and his report proved sufficiently encouraging to merit 
a request from the inhabitants of the Appomattox region for 

74 Brown, "The Dismal Swamp Canal," The American Neptune, A Quar- 
terly Journal of Maritime History, V (October, 1945), 300-301. 

75 For the opinion of James Iredell see Annual Report of the North Car- 
olina Board for Internal Improvements (1828), 5-6. For Joseph Caldwell's 
answer to Virginia's monopoly of the Roanoke trade see [Joseph Caldwell] , 
The Numbers of Carlton, Addressed to the People of North Carolina, on a 
Central Rail-Road through the State (New York, 1828), 71 ff, 145. 

76 Halifax Minerva, November 14, 1829 ; Roanoke Advocate, September 2, 

77 James P. Preston, President of the Board of Public Works, to the Mayor 
of Petersburg, November 22, 1817, Letter Book of the Virginia Board of 
Public Works, June 1816, to April 19, 1832, 13-14, Virginia State Library. 
James P. Preston to the Mayor of Petersburg, December 4, 1817, Letter 
Book of the Virginia Board of Public Works, June 16, to April 19, 1832, 
15, Virginia State Library. 

68 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the construction of a connecting canal. 78 In the following year 
provisions were made for financing the project and the state 
engineer was ordered to lay out the actual route. 79 

Because the company authorized by the state to construct 
the canal refused to undertake the project, plans for the 
Appomattox and Roanoke waterway were held in abeyance. 80 
Nevertheless, during the period in which Hamilton Fulton 
and the state of North Carolina tried to divert the Roanoke 
trade to Plymouth, the Commonwealth of Virginia continued 
to urge the Appomattox connection and eventually incor- 
porated a new company to undertake the task. 81 That action 
might well have proved a countermeasure to the plans of 
North Carolina had either state seen its special project to a 
successful conclusion. Yet, in fairness to both states, it should 
be stated that neither the Appomattox connection nor the 
Weldon canal was designed to interfere with the established 
waterway along the Roanoke and its tributaries. In spite of 
opposition from the directors of the Roanoke Navigation 
Company, the Plymouth scheme could scarcely have injured 
trade above Weldon whatever might have been the effect 
upon traffic through the Dismal Swamp Canal. Nor is there 
any evidence to show that the Appomattox connection was 
regarded as potentially injurious to the interstate waterway. 
Since the junction with the Roanoke was to be made above 
Clarksville, the produce of the Dan and the Roanoke proper 
would not have been diverted from either Weldon or Nor- 
folk. 82 Neither the Roanoke Navigation nor the Dismal Swamp 
Canal Company objected to the project, although as their 

78 Virginia House Journal (1818-1819), 194; Petition of the citizens of 
the counties lying between the Appomattox and Roanoke rivers (1818), 
Legislative Petitions of Chesterfield County, Virginia State Library. 

79 Virginia Acts (1818-1819), 56, 84. The work was to be undertaken by 
the Upper Appomattox Company, an old Petersburg navigation company 
engaged in improving the Appomattox above the falls. 

80 Although the directors of the Upper Appomattox Company showed 
some interest in the Roanoke project they refused to pledge the state's 
subscription to the construction of the canal. Consequently, Virginia with- 
drew financial aid. Virginia House Journal (1826-1827), 19; Seventh Annual 
Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1822), 65; Ninth Annual 
Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1824), 17. 

81 This was the Junction Canal Company incorporated in January, 1825. 
Virginia Acts (1824-1825), ch. 51. 

83 Report of Thomas Moore, Sixth Annual Report of the Virginia Board 
of Public Works (1821), 26. 

Early Development of the Roanoke Waterway 69 

own improvements had not been completed they could not 
have known of the competitive effects which the additional 
canal to Petersburg might have imposed. 83 

In spite of the fact that there was no apparent intimidation 
involved in Virginia's attempts to link the Appomattox with 
the Roanoke, the entire project was dropped when it became 
clear that North Carolina could not divert the Roanoke trade 
to Plymouth. 84 Popular demand for the Appomattox connec- 
tion continued but the state ignored all such requests as it did 
similar suggestions for construction of a canal between the 
Roanoke and the James. 85 As long as the natural flow of com- 
merce continued unmolested Virginia had no incentive for 
interrupting the established course of the interstate waterway. 
The advent of the railroad, however, soon changed state 
policy and altered thinking on both sides of the river system. 

For all practical purposes the construction of railroads in 
the Roanoke area marked the end of the waterway as a de- 
termining factor in the relations of the two states. The possi- 
bility of tapping the Roanoke by rail provided so many 
opportunities for linking the river with seaports in both North 
Carolina and Virginia that cooperation between the states 
soon went by the board. During the 1830's, Virginia dis- 
carded the idea of maintaining a continuous waterline from 
the mountains to Norfolk, and North Carolina revamped her 
plans for gaining control of the Roanoke commerce. Virginia 
scored the initial success and became the first to divert the 

83 Since James Preston, who had fostered the Roanoke-Appomattox canal, 
was a staunch supporter of the Norfolk-Roanoke waterway it seems un- 
likely that the two routes were regarded as being competitive. For Preston's 
attitude see James P. Preston to Luke Wheeler, June 21, 1817, Letter 
Book of the Virginia Board of Public Works, June, 1816, to April 19, 1832, 
8-9, Virginia State Library. 

84 The decision was made by Governor John Tyler after an examination 
by Claudius Crozet had shown that, even if the proposed Appomattox- 
Roanoke canal were constructed, most of the river traffic would follow the 
interstate waterway to Norfolk. Eleventh Annual Report of the Virginia 
Board of Public Works (1826), 31-34; Virginia House Journal (1826- 
1827), 9. 

85 Richmond Whig, July 26, 1828; Farmers 1 Register, I (April, 1834), 
670-671. It should be noted that even the Charlottesville Convention of 
1828 countenanced no resolutions favouring the Roanoke and Appomattox 
connection. Proceedings and Memorial of the Charlottesville Convention 
(Richmond, 1828), passim. The most noteworthy suggestion for a canal 
between the Roanoke and the James came from Claudius Crozet. Report on 
the Survey of the James River, 1827, 15-16, bound in with Virginia House 
Journal (1827-1828). 

70 The North Carolina Historical Review 

trade of the interstate waterway. In February, 1830, the 
commonwealth chartered the Petersburg Railroad Company 
to run a line from the Appomattox to the Roanoke at, or near, 
Weldon. 86 The railroad was planned as a means of capturing 
all of the commerce passing from Weldon into Albemarle 
Sound or through the Dismal Swamp Canal. 87 Yet, in spite of 
obvious disadvantages to the state, the North Carolina legis- 
lature assented to the charter. 88 

Construction on the Petersburg railroad progressed with 
such rapidity and skill that the line reached the North Caro- 
lina border before the end of 1832, and by August of the 
following year the road had tapped the basin at Weldon. 89 
The resulting impact upon the commerce previously routed 
through the Albemarle Sound to Norfolk was considerable. 
Norfolk-bound flour on the Dismal Swamp Canal dropped 
from 10,778 barrels in 1833, to 2,911 in 1835, and 2,546 in 

1836. The tobacco trade took an even greater relapse, de- 
creasing from 2,113 hogsheads in 1833, to 202 in 1835. 90 By 

1837, the Petersburg Railroad Company was carrying ap- 
proximately fifty-two per cent of all flour transported down 
the upper Roanoke and probably all of the 2,975 hogsheads 
of tobacco. 91 To increase their share of the trade still further, 
the directors of the company purchased two steamboats and 
used them to bring goods from the lower river and from the 
sound to the junction with the railroad. 92 

86 Virginia Acts (1829-1830), 59. 

87 Richmond Enquirer, February 22, 1830. 

88 North Carolina Acts (1830), ch. 63. 

89 Petersburg Intelligencer, December 12, 1832; American Railroad Jour- 
nal, and Advocate of Internal Improvements, II (January 12, 1833), 17; 
Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette, August 20, 1833. 

90 Report of the Dismal Swamp Canal Company, December 7, 1833, 
Eighteenth Annual Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1833), 
162; Report of the Dismal Swamp Canal Company, December 4, 1835, 
Twentieth Annual Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1835), 
59 ; Report of the Roanoke Navigation Company, Twentieth Annual Report 
of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1835), 132. Report of the Dismal 
Swamp Canal Company, November 21, 1836, Twenty-First Annual Report 
of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1836), 220. 

91 Compiled from figures in Report of the Roanoke Navigation Company, 
December 5, 1837, Twenty-Second Annual Report of the Virginia Board of 
Public Works (1837), 123; Report of the Petersburg Railroad Company, 
December 12, 1837, Twenty-Second Annual Report of the Virginia Board 
of Public Works, (1837), 240. 

92 "Annual Report of the Petersburg Rail Road Company, March 7, 1836," 
accompanying Twenty-First Annual Report of the Virginia Board of Public 
Works (1836), 312. 

Early Development of the Roanoke Waterway 71 

The disruption of commerce on the interstate waterway did 
not go unprotested. The same North Carolina faction that had 
objected to the loss of trade through the Dismal Swamp Canal 
now raised its voice against the depredations of the railroad. 93 
In 1833, in an effort to combat Virginia's domination of the 
Roanoke trade, North Carolinians proposed the construction 
of one railroad leading from the river to Wilmington, another 
from Norfolk to Edenton, and a third extending from Weldon 
southward to the South Carolina border. 94 Only the first, 
however, was effectually designed to provide the produce of 
the Roanoke with an outlet through a North Carolina port. 
Its potential success was diminished by the lateness of its 
entry into the field. Construction did not start until January, 
1837, and the first train reached Weldon on March 7, 1840, 
almost seven years after the Petersburg railroad had garnered 
the bulk of the available commerce. 95 

North Carolina's second project, the Edenton and Norfolk 
railroad, was regarded by some as an effort to recapture for 
the Albemarle region some of the trade that was siphoned off 
through the Dismal Swamp Canal. Consequently, the Virginia 
Senate refused to sanction the enterprise until the canal com- 
pany's officials explained that the proposed line would actually 
increase commerce entering Norfolk through the waterway. 96 

The third project did not materialize in the form of the 
original proposal, but a line was constructed from the Roanoke 
region to the capital of North Carolina. Opened on March 21, 
1840, the Raleigh and Gaston was connected with the Peters- 
burg railroad through a subsidiary line at Weldon. 97 The new 

93 Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette, October 1, 1833. 

94 Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette, October 4, 11, Decem- 
ber 6, 1833. 

95 For the opening of the road see the accounts in Advertizer (Wilming- 
ton), March 12, 1840; North Carolina Standard, (Raleigh), March 11, 1840; 
Register and North Carolina Gazette, March 20, 1840; The Yeoman, 
March 25, April 1, 1840. 

98 Report of the Dismal Swamp Canal Company, November 21, 1837, 
Twenty-Second Annual Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works 
(1837), 119, 129; Virginia Acts (1838), 105. 

97 Register and North Carolina Gazette, March 27, April 10, 1840. The 
subsidiary line was the Greensville and Roanoke which connected the two 
main lines by a bridge over the Roanoke at Gaston. Begun in 1836, the 
eighteen mile line was amalgamated into the Petersburg railroad twenty 
years later. [Sixth] Annual Report of the Petersburg Rail Road Company, 
March 7th, 1836 (Petersburg, 1836), 4-6; [Ninth] Annual Report of the 

72 The North Carolina Historical Review 

railroad, however, was in reality a pawn in the hands of the 
Petersburg group, and its establishment did more to add to the 
commerce flowing out of North Carolina and into Virginia 
than it did in bringing the commerce of the Roanoke south- 
ward toward Raleigh. 98 

The three projects were not the only ones aimed at tapping 
the rich Roanoke region, nor were North Carolinians the only 
ones who resented the encroachments of the Petersburg rail- 
road. Citizens of Norfolk, sensing that the construction of the 
railroad would end their commercial supremacy, tried to pre- 
vent the state from granting financial aid to the project." 
Having failed in that they next turned their attention to the 
construction of a rival line and, in 1832, received a charter for 
the Portsmouth and Roanoke railroad. 100 Completed in 1837 
the line caused a second decline in the trade of the Dismal 
Swamp Canal; the flour trade fell off to forty-two barrels a 
year and tobacco shipments ceased entirely. 101 The adverse 
effects of the canal were not alleviated by the added trade 
gained through the railroad. The Portsmouth and Roanoke 
was never able to compete profitably with the Petersburg 
and, after nine years of struggling with indebtedness, was 
finally forced to dissolve. 102 

The tapping of the Roanoke basin by the Petersburg, the 
Wilmington, and the Portsmouth railroads ended the life of 
the waterway as a major avenue of interstate trade. The 

Petersburg Rail Road Company, March J>, 1839 (Petersburg, 1839), 7; 
[Twenty-Eighth] Annual Report to the Stockholders of the Petersburg 
Rail Road Company (Petersburg, 1858), 3. 

"The Petersburg Railroad Company regarded the Raleigh and Gaston 
not only as an extension of its own line but as a feeder of produce into 
the Roanoke basin as well. Until 1839, the Petersburg operated the trains 
of the Raleigh and Gaston over the completed part of the route to Franklin. 
In 1842, it was decided to standardize both roads, and the Greensville and 
Roanoke, so that trains could run without interchange all the way from 
Raleigh to Petersburg. First Annual Report of the Raleigh and Gaston 
Rail-Road Company, February 6, 1837 (Raleigh, 1837), 9; Fourth Annual 
Report of the Raleigh and Gaston Rail-Road Company, June, 18 U2 
(Raleigh, 1842), 21. 

"> Enquirer, March 12, 1831. 

100 Virginia Acts (1831-1832), 151. 

101 Report of the Dismal Swamp Canal Company, December 12, 1837, 
Twenty-Second Annual Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works 
(1837), 123. 

103 Thirtieth Annual Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1845), 
7-10, 74-75, 84-115; Proceedings of an Adjourned Meeting of the Stock- 
holders of the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Rail Road Company, 
Held in the City of Richmond, July 21, 1846 (Richmond, 1846), 4-8. 

Early Development of the Roanoke Waterway 73 

decade of 1830's saw the waterway divided into two com- 
ponent parts; the Roanoke and its tributaries became feeders 
for the railroads, and the Dismal Swamp Canal was relegated 
to the position of an inland waterway. Once the split had been 
accomplished neither North Carolina nor Virginia regarded 
the waterway as a continuous line of communication between 
the mountains and the sea. Each section was considered 
separately and little attention was paid to either. As a result, 
improvements on the river system gradually fell into disuse 
and one portion collapsed entirely. 

The dissolution of the waterway came first to that part of 
improvements below the basin at Weldon. When the lower 
canal was rendered useless by the railroads, the locks were 
allowed to fall into disrepair, and neither North Carolina nor 
Virginia offered to aid in their reconstruction. 103 In 1836, the 
navigation company decided to concentrate its efforts on the 
further improvement of the upper river. The company sent 
two representatives to New York, Connecticut, and Massa- 
chusetts in order to determine, from examples in those states, 
if steamboats could be employed on the river between Weldon 
and Clarksville. The commissioners returned with a report 
which favored the use of shallow draft steamboats on the 
upper river, and the state's engineer maintained that the 
necessary improvements could be made without much cost. 
As a result, extensive works were planned and both the Dan 
and the Staunton were partly improved for steamboat naviga- 
tion. As no financial aid could be secured from either Virginia 
or North Carolina, and as the panic of 1837 left the company 
with no more than $1,000 per annum for the improvements, 
the entire project was discarded. 1 


103 Nineteenth Annual Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works 
(1834), 466; Twentieth Annual Report of the Virginia Board of Public 
Works (1835), 135-136; Twenty-Second Annual Report of the Virginia 
Board of Public Works (1837), 327. 

104 Edward B. Hicks to Andrew Joyner, June 20, 1836, Farmers* Register, 
IV (September, 1836), 267; Niles' Weekly Register, LII (May 6, 1837), 
160 ;Twenty-First Annual Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works 
(1836), 341-342; Twenty-Second Annual Report of the Virginia Board of 
Public Works (1837), 14-24, 320-322, 325, 327; Twenty-third Annual 
Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1838), 124-126; Thirtieth 
Annual Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1845), 41-42. 

74 The North Carolina Historical Review 

After the advent of the railroads the Dismal Swamp Canal 
fared but little better than did its companion on the Roanoke. 
In 1845, the directors of the former company suggested that 
a canal be cut from Murfreesboro on the Meherrin to a point 
above Weldon. According to the directors this would reinsti- 
tute the old interstate waterway, obviate the long trip down 
the Roanoke, and give Norfolk a better access to the trade at 
Weldon. 105 Although the Board of Public Works called the 
attention of the Virginia legislature to the proposal, no attempt 
was made to resurrect a project that had died a decade be- 
fore. 106 

The lack of interest in plans for the enlargement or recon- 
struction of the Norfolk-Roanoke route was merely the final 
peg in the coffin of the interstate waterway. For thirty-five 
years North Carolina and Virginia had fought and argued 
over the improvements until at last a compromise had been 
reached. For another fifteen years the two states had con- 
structed and improved the three-hundred-and-forty-mile line 
of communications. The squabbles had continued, but the 
waterway had been preserved. Then came the disruption, 
occurring before there had been adequate opportunity to 
prove the value of the trade route. Certainly the period of 
controversy had overshadowed the useful life of the project. 
Yet it is doubtful, even had there been no such controversy, 
whether financial and local conditions would have permitted 
a much earlier beginning or completion of the improvements. 
It may even have been fortunate that the Roanoke waterway 
got off to a late start, for its relatively brief life prevented it 
from becoming a heavily endowed vested interest that could 
have barred future progress in transportation. 

105 Thirtieth Annual Report of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1845), 

1W Report of James McDowell, December 1, 1845, Thirtieth Annual Re- 
port of the Virginia Board of Public Works (1845), 4. 



Edited By Hugh Buckner Johnston, Jr. 


This collection of Confederate letters originally contained 
forty or more items, but many have been lost, and others 
were damaged beyond legibility by flames and water. Only 
twenty-one letters could be satisfactorily deciphered, and all 
persons and places mentioned in them have been identified. 
There is nothing sensational in the subject matter, but the 
writer was a conscientious officer, who expressed sensible 
observations concerning his domestic and military affairs. 
Also, his letters throw valuable light on the movements and 
personnel of Company C, Forty-Third North Carolina In- 
fantry Regiment, during that period of the war in which he 
was their immediate commander. 

Ruffin Barnes was born in 1829 in the southern part of what 
is now Wilson County. His parents were Elias Barnes and 
[wife] Zilpha Thompson Barnes. Both parents were born in 
1803, and were descended from substantial local families. 1 
In 1860 they lived near Black Creek and owned $5,350 worth 
of real and personal property. 2 Their children were given 
more than the average social and educational advantages in 
the agricultural environment of the lower Black Creek com- 
munity, but a biographer would find it practically impossible 
to discover, prior to 1860, any interesting details of their 
private lives beyond the fact that the writer of these letters 
married and established himself as a solid and useful citizen. 

The War between the States brought Ruffin Barnes from 
comparative obscurity to competent leadership of men on the 
exacting field of battle. On January 22, 1862, he enlisted at 

1 An extensive manuscript history of the prolific Barnes family of Vir- 
ginia and North Carolina was compiled by, and is in the files of, the 
editor of these letters. 

2 This information was taken from the Wilson County Census of 1860, 
a large alphabetized typescript in the collection of the editor. The original 
manuscript volume is in the National Archives, Washington, D. C. 


76 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Black Creek Depot as one of 102 privates in Company C, 
Forty-Third North Carolina Infantry Regiment, Confederate 
States Army. The military record describes Barnes at the time 
of his enlistment as a farmer by occupation, five feet eight 
inches in height. 3 On April 2, he was mustered into service 
for three years by Colonel Robert C. Hill at Camp Mangum, 
about three miles west of Raleigh. He was commissioned 
second lieutenant on February 28, although the commissions 
of the other officers of the Regiment are dated March 25. 

On the first of June, 1862, Lt. Barnes was at Camp Davis, 
near Wilmington; exactly a month later he was under fire 
from the Federal batteries on Malvern Hill and gunboats in 
the James River. On July 28 he was advanced to first lieu- 
tenant by order of Governor Henry T. Clark of Edgecombe 
County. The roll call of August 31 noted that he was absent 
from his company on some unspecified special duty. On 
November 15 he was received at the First North Carolina 
Hospital and sent to private quarters in Petersburg, Virginia, 
but returned to duty on November 17. In December his 
Regiment was ordered to the vicinity of Goldsboro and Kin- 
ston to reinforce troops which opposed the Union forces 
operating from New Bern. 

At the resignation of James S. Woodard on January 31, 
1863, Ruffin Barnes was appointed Captain of Company C, 
and served in that capacity until the time of his death two 
years later. 4 On April 30 Captain Barnes was absent from 
his command on account of sickness, but accompanied his 
men to Fredericksburg in early June. Arriving at Gettysburg 
about 1 P.M. on July 1, he was under fire "during the entire 
fight." His regiment formed its line of battle to the left of 
General W. D. Pender's Division and gained Seminary Ridge. 
On July 2 it was shelled heavily by the enemy batteries on 
Cemetery Heights. After a night march over exceedingly 
rough terrain, the regiment attacked Culp's Hill, on July 3, 

3 A small portrait of Captain Ruffin Barnes appears on the plate facing 
page one in Walter Clarke editor, Histories of the Several Regiments and 
Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861-65 (Goldsboro, 
1901) Vol. III. 

4 The military record of Ruffin Barnes was copied by the editor from 
the Confederate Military Records in the National Archives. 

The Confederate Letters of Ruffin Barnes 77 

and took the first line of Federal works before being forced 
to withdraw to its first position on Seminary Ridge. 5 

In the Confederate retreat from Gettysburg, the Forty- 
Third Regiment was in the rearguard and frequently skirmish- 
ed with the Federal advance. They were still in upper Vir- 
ginia on November 9 when Captain Barnes became so 
badly affected by "Debilitas" that he was placed in General 
Hospital No. 4 at Richmond, where he remained at least ten 
days. On November 27 his company engaged in the all-day 
fight at Mine Run. The enemy withdrew north of the Rapidan 
River, and the Confederates went into winter quarters. About 
the middle of January, 1864, the entire Regiment was de- 
tached to assist General R. F. Hoke with operations in eastern 
North Carolina. They participated in the Battle of Batchelor's 
Creek on February 1 and in the capture of Plymouth on 
April 20. 

About two weeks later Captain Barnes and his company 
were engaged with the enemy within sight of New Bern when 
orders came to proceed to the entrenchments in front of 
Petersburg. Under cover of a dense fog, on the morning of 
May 16, they made a successful attack of Drewry's Bluff. 
On May 23 they were again with their old brigade when it 
charged the enemy works at Hanover Junction. They fought 
in the Battle of Bethesda Church on May 30, Gaines' Mill 
on June 2, and Cold Harbor on June 3, followed by skirmishes 
at Lynchburg on June 13, Buford's Gap on June 20, and 
Salem on June 21. They crossed the Potomac River near 
Shepherdstown on July 6 and engaged the Federal forces 
nearly all day in the rear of Maryland Heights. On July 9 they 
reached Fredericksburg, and after a stubborn fight assisted 
in driving General Lew Wallace's Division from its strong 
position on the Monocacy River. 

Within a period of thirty days Captain Barnes and his men 
had marched five hundred miles and had fought in at least 
twelve battles or skirmishes. The Federals were driven into 
the Shenandoah River at Snicker's Ford on July 17, and 

"For additional details of activities of Forty-Third North Carolina In- 
fantry Regiment in which Captain Barnes served, see Clark, Histories 
of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great 
War iS0i-'05, III, 1-20. 

78 The North Carolina Historical Review 

there was a "hard fight" at Darksville on July 19. After an 
attack on Winchester, they encamped near Strasburg and 
Bunker Hill for two weeks of comparative inactivity. Ruffin 
Barnes led the men of Company C in only two more battles, 
Winchester on August 17 and Charlestown on August 21. 
Leuren D. Killette succeeded him nominally as Captain, but 
his own health had already become so seriously impaired that 
he was never able to assume his duties. 6 

Captain Barnes was seriously wounded in the action at 
Charlestown and was placed in the local military hospital. 
This is verified by the report from Major-General Robert E. 
Rodes's Division near Bunker Hill on September 30, and 
by Colonel D. G. Coward's report at New Market on October 
29. On January 28, 1865, Colonel John R. Winston of 
Grimes's Brigade reported at Camp Rodes that Barnes had 
fallen into the hands of the enemy. The men of Company C 
did not learn until later that their Captain had died in cap- 
tivity on December 24, 1864. 


Newbern, N. C. June 25 th 1861 

Mr. Ruffin Barnes 7 

Dear Sir : 

I can Inform you I am now in Newbern and have been here 8 
days but don't know how long I shall stay here. I am well and fat 
as ever and very well satisfied considering I am in the army. I 
saw your Letter you sent to Bunyan 8 Last Night and was glad to 
hear your crop was so Likely. I hope I can come and see you. I 
wish I could say, but I can't tell you what day yet. I want you to 

6 This information was also taken from the Confederate Military Records 
in The National Archives. 

7 This series of Confederate letters penned by Captain Ruffin Barnes 
of Wilson County is now in the possession of the Honorable W. A. Lucas 
of 1407 West Nash Street, Wilson, North Carolina. 

8 Bunyan Barnes, brother of Captain Ruffin Barnes, was born in 1837 
and served in Company F, Fourth North Carolina Infantry Regiment, 
Confederate States Army, according to a manuscript "Roster of Wilson 
County Soldiers in the War between the States," compiled by the editor 
principally from John W. Moore's Roster of North Carolina Troops in The 
War Between The States, Raleigh, 1882. 

The Confederate Letters of Ruffin Barnes 79 

write soon and let me hear from you and all Rest. You may not 
send that Bdy. [brandy] until I come and then I can bring it. 

Yours as always, 


Camp Davis 10 June 1 st 1862 

Dear wife, 11 

Your affectionate letter came to hand last night and found 
me well & hearty as a pig. I was glad to hear from you & hear 
you were well, but sorry to hear my little girls 12 were sick. I 
hope they are better by this time. I shall be uneasy all the time 
now until I hear from them again. I sent you a fine-tooth comb 
in my last letter & you never wrote me whether you received it 
or not. I went to Wilmington yesterday & you can't tell how 
badly I hated to see the Train start & I could not come, but I 
hope the time is not far distant when I will have the exquisite 
Pleasure of laying my arms around your neck again. I cannot 
tell how it will be about my coming in time for the sale. I have not 
said anything to the Col. 13 about coming yet. I know he will be 
French. 14 He put a stop to furloughs some time ago & I don't 
know whether he will assign one now or not. I am going to try 
for one anyhow. I may get the chance of coming without going 
to him. 

If I do not come, I want you to tell Silas 15 I will Risk his Judg- 
ment on a cow & calf. I want him to buy one if he can & as for 

9 Jesse Watson, probably a son of Jesse and Sallie Watson of Wilson 
County, was born in 1836 and served in Company F, 4th North Carolina 
Infantry Regiment, C. S. A. These and subsequent statistical details were 
derived from the Wilson County Census of 1860, the original manuscript 
of which is preserved in The National Archives, Washington, D. C. The 
copy in the files of the editor has been organized and typed alphabetically 
according to family units. 

10 Camp Davis was near Wilmington, North Carolina. 

11 Mary Bryant, the second wife of Ruffin Barnes. By his first wife he 
had a son, A. Taylor Barnes of Crossroads Township, but this child was 
never mentioned in the surviving letters. 

15 The two daughters of Ruffin Barnes were Luzette who married Jona- 
than Newsome and died without progeny, and Leora Frances who married 
Lafayette Francis Lucas (born in 1851), son of Silas Lucas and Martha 
Tomlinson Lucas. Leora and Lafayette Lucas were the parents of W. A. 
Lucas, attorney at law and present owner of these Confederate letters. 

13 Probably Colonel Thomas S. Kenan of the Forty- third Regiment, 
willing for me to come, but can't tell how it will be with General 

"General S. G. French. 

15 Silas Lucas (born 1817) and wife Patsey Tomlinson Lucas (born 1817) 
lived near Black Creek and were worth $2,350.00 in 1860. They were 
the parents of the celebrated Silas Lucas (November 29, 1852-April 20, 
1916), who was the grandfather and namesake of the Wilson County 

80 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the Sheep, I want five or six ewes & Lambs. I don't care what 
the Price is unless they go clear out of all reason. If I don't come, 
tell Silas to fix with the Administrator if he will not Let be 
until I come home & when I come I will Pay the money. I want 
you to hold on to the money that you have got. If I get my money 
before I come, I will bring you something to Please you. They 
have not Paid me any money since I was at home. 

I begin to think our chance is Better about whipping the 
Yankees than it has ever been. I don't think there is any danger 
of a fight here no time quick, if there ever is. I have heard a 
great many big guns since I came to this place. They will not 
get much if they ever get Wilmington. I would not be surprised 
if we go to Weldon in a few Days & I hope we will. 

Tell Larky 16 her husband sends his Love to her & the child- 
ren & wants to see them very badly. I received your K with 
great gratitude & affection. I am very sorry to have to say to 
you that Riley Lucas 17 , poor fellow, is Lying very low & looks 
more like dying than Living. I heard the Doctor say this morn- 
ing he thought we were going to Lose him. It almost makes me 
shed Tears to look at him & think of his Poor Wife & children. 
I think you had best not let his wife hear of it. I hope he will 
get well yet. He has the Pneumonia. I will close for the Present. 

Until Death I am your Loving 

R. B. 


Dear wife, 

Culpeper County, Va. 
June 8 th 1863 

I will drop you a few lines to let you Know where I am & how 
I am getting along. I am as well as common at this time. I very 
often Suffer with that pain in my stomach, but I am as hearty as 
usual. I hope these few lines may find you all well. 

Dear wife, we have been on a march ever since Thursday 
morning. We are now about four miles north of Culpeper Court 
House. We got here last evening. I don't think we shall stay here 
long, but where we will go from here none of us can tell. Some 
think that Genl. Lee is going to cross the river & get in Hooper's 18 
rear, but no one can tell what his intentions are. I tell you we 

16 Larky was probably the wife of one of Captain Barnes's privates. 

17 Riley Lucas, born 1832, was a cooper by trade. In 1860 he had a wife, 
two daughters, and was worth $100.00. He was a private in Captain Barnes's 

w This reference was intended for General Joseph Hooker. 

The Confederate Letters of Ruffin Barnes 81 

have had hard times since we came out here. It is the hilliest 
country I ever saw. We have been marching nearly two days 
in sight of the Blue Ridge. The men are running away very bad 
& we are now under the strictest orders that any set of men 
ever were placed under before. None of the men is allowed to 
leave the Company without a commissioned officer with him. 
Whenever one is bound to leave, some of us has to go with him. 
It keeps us all the time going. 

I don't see [how] this war can last much longer. If times 
don't get better, I can't tell what will be the consequence. Lord 
send this war may end soon ! I don't think it can last much long- 
er. I tell you when men have to march until they fall dead it 
looks hard. I saw one poor fellow lying on the Side of the road 
sucking his thumb & foaming at the mouth. He perished to death 
for water. The men are not allowed to Stop to get water when 
they are Suffering for it. I understand some three or four more 
died the same way this man did, but I suppose they are bound 
to do this or too many would be falling out. All of the Boys 
are well & hearty. We are in Jackson's 19 old Corps. The men 
could get along a great deal better if they did not Suffer so for 
water. You may tell Edwin's 20 family that he is well. I want you 
to write soon. Direct your letters to Richmond. All is quiet on 
the Rappahannock this morning. I have not heard from you 
since I left home. Please write soon & often. I will get your letters 
after awhile. 

I remain 

Your Loving Husband until Death, 


Williamsport, Md. 
June 18 th 1863 

Dear wife, 

I this morning avail myself of writing you a few lines to let 
you know that I am yet in the land of the living & thank God 
I am enjoying good health and hope these few lines may find 
you all the same. I cannot begin to tell the ups and downs I 
have seen since I saw you last. We have been marching for the 
last ten or fifteen days. We marched up the Shenandoah Valley 

19 At this time the Forty-Third Infantry Regiment had been fighting 
under T. J. "Stonewall" Jackson, who had been fatally wounded at Chan- 
cellorsville about a month earlier. 

20 Edwin Barnes, brother of Ruffin Barnes, was born in 1824. In 1860 he 
was a farmer by occupation, was worth $1,175.00, and had a wife and four 
children. He served in Company F, Fourth North Carolina Infantry Regi- 
ment, C. S. A. 

82 The North Carolina Historical Review 

through the mountains. We had to wade the rivers as we came 
to them. We waded the Potomac yesterday. I can't tell anything 
about where we are going to from here. We are but a few miles 
from the Pennsylvania line. We did not meet with but little 
difficulty in getting here. We came through several little towns 
& drove the Yankees out of them & got a great many things 
from them. [We] captured a good many prisoners but I must 
not undertake to mention all that took place as that would take 
me a great while. 

All the boys are well as common. Edwin [is] rather poorly, 
but think he is only broken down. I have got along on this march 
remarkably well. We have been resting now for three days. There 
are but few Yankees up here, but I can't tell how soon they may 
come. We have only one Division up here. The rest of our army 
is at Fredericksburg & between here and there I understand 
Hooker is going to Washington City & a part of his army is 
already there, but I can't tell how true it is. We can hear noth- 
ing true. I have not heard anything from home since I left. I 
would be very glad to hear from you. You must get along the 
best you can & not be too despondent. The same God is with me 
here as was there. I want you to pray for peace & my safe re- 
turn. Stephen Boyett 21 said tell his wife he was well as common. 
Nothing more at present. You cannot get a letter to me. If I can't 
get one from Richmond, you need not direct one anywhere else. 

Your affectionate husband, 

July 14, 1863 
Dear wife, 

Thank God I am one more time permitted to write you a few 
lines to let you know that I came through all the fighting un- 
hurt. None of us Brothers was Killed nor wounded. I was in 
the fight three days in succession. I had 17 men killed & wounded 
in my Company. Only four men killed. John Parrish, 22 Guilford 
Ricks, 23 Arthur M. Davis 24 & Calvin Rentfrow, 25 all killed, the 
other thirteen wounded. 

21 Stephen Boyett, born in 1824, was an illiterate turpentine worker when 
the war began; he had three children. He served in Company A, Fifty-fifth 
North Carolina Infantry Regiment, C. S. A. 

23 John Parrish, born in 1827, was an illiterate farmer and had a wife 
and six children. 

23 Guilford Ricks of Oldfield Township was born in 1824. He was illiterate 
but had accumulated property valued at $692.00 by 1860. He had five 
children. He was at one time in Company H, Fifty-ninth North Carolina 
Cavalry Regiment, C. S. A. 

24 Arthur M. Davis of Oldfield Township was an illiterate turpentine 
worker worth $1,200.00 in 1860. He then had a wife and two children. 

26 Calvin Rentfrow, son of Willie and Athy Rentfrow of Wilson County, 
was an illiterate farm laborer. He was born in 1837. His parents had 
farming property valued at $2,120.00 in 1860. 

The Confederate Letters of Ruffin Barnes 83 

I am well as common at this time. Bill 26 is down with Rheuma- 
tism & Levet Brown 27 is also down with the same Complaint. I 
had them both sent to the Hospital. I suppose they are now at 
Winchester but will be kept on ahead of us. We came Back 
across the Potomac River last night. We had to ford it. I was 
on my feet marching all night last night; did not sleep a wink, 
and it was raining very hard. It has rained a good deal since 
the fight. We crossed the River this morning about 2 o'clock. 

I hope we will Be now so we can hear from Each other often. 
I have not heard from you in Better than a month. I cannot 
write much at this time. Not knowing as you will ever get my 
letter, I won't undertake to give you any of the Particulars of 
the fight this time. Edwin said Tell wife he will write in a few 
Days. I reckon we will come on Somewhere nearer Richmond 
Before we stop, but can't tell when we will get in camp again. 
Our men have not had a chance to change their clothes in 5 
weeks. We are nearly all the time going. Please write soon. 
Direct as you did Before. Tom 28 is with Bill & Brown. I remain 
until Death your 

Loving husband, 



Camp near Orange C. H. 
43 rd Regt. N.C.T. August 4 th 1863 

Dear wife, 

I reed, your Kind Letter yesterday & was glad to hear you 
were all well. I am well and hearty as I ever was in my life. 
There is no news to write you at this time as everything is quiet 
about here now, but I can't tell how long it will remain so. You 
appear to be uneasy about the Yankees coming up there, but I 
hope they will not get as high up as that. Oh, if I could only 
come as you Dreamed I did, what a pleasure it would Be to me ! 
God bless you ! I hope I will see the time come when I can realize 
your Dream. I love my little Children when I think of their 
Speaking of me as they did. 

28 William Barnes, brother of Captain Ruffin Barnes, was born in 1839. 
He served in Company C, Forty-third North Carolina Infantry Regiment, 
C. S. A. 

27 Levet Brown has not been identified but was probably from Wayne 

28 Thomas Barnes, born in 1835, was the brother of Ruffin Barnes, and 
was a merchant worth $1,650.00 in 1860. He apparently served in Company 
G, Fifth North Carolina Infantry Regiment, C. S. A. 

84 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Dear wife, you must not get out of heart. If we should never 
meet on this Earth again, I hope we will meet in the world to 
come where Trouble and Parting are no more. Dear wife, I 
have offered many Prayers for you as well as myself. I think 
it time for everybody to be engaged in Prayer. I have not seen 
John Wasdon 29 but heard from him since the fighting. He came 
out safe, so said Isaac Aycock. 30 I must close for the present. 
May God bless you all as there is none other can guard you. 
the war last longer. N. C. is Showing her sympathy to the North. 
Sometimes I think the war never will stop & then again I think 

Very Respectfully, 

Your affectionate Husband, 


Camp near Orange C. H. 
August 15 th 1863 

Dear wife, 

Yours of the 7 th never came to hand until last night. I received 
one from Father that was written the 9 th . Some how or other 
your letter got misplaced & did not come as soon as it ought to. 
I saw in father's that Leory was a little sick. I can say to you 
that I am well with the exception of a bad cold. I hope these few 
lines may come safely to hand and find you all well. I reckon 
I have received all of your letters. I am very sorry to hear of 
the Death of Amos Home. 31 I also hear that John Henry Lucas 32 
is very sick. You must write me how he has got. You did not 
say how many lambs we had. You must not Keep the Sheep in 
the orchard too long at a time. 

I am going to send you forty Dollars & hope you will receive 
it. Then you can pay my Tax. You must not Despond & get 
out of heart. I hope I will get the chance to come home in the 
course of a month or two. I am going to fix some way to come. 
As soon as I can have any Excuse & can get to Richmond or 
Petersburg, you can come to see me. I want to see you very badly 
& hope I can see you before a great while. 

You seem to be Down on some of our Genls. very much, but 
they all do the best they can, so don't fall out with them so. I 
fear Such mad meetings as they are holding in N. C. will make 

29 John Wasdon was probably from Wayne or Greene County. 

30 Isaac Aycock was apparently from Wayne County. 

31 Amos Home, son of Hardy and Edith Home, was born in 1821. On 
February 23, 1857, he was a lister of land taxes in Wilson County. The 
Census of 1860 listed him as a farmer worth $5,000.00. 

33 John Henry Lucas, son of Silas and Patsey Lucas, was born in 1845. 

The Confederate Letters of Ruffin Barnes 85 

it is bound to stop before long. I don't see how it can go on as 
it is. We are all feeling Depressed now. 

You may like to hear the Rail Road runs in about two or 
three hundred yards of our camp. The train stops at Orange 
C. H. about one mile from our Camp. I do wish I would come 
home now. I want to see you So bad, but you must not get out 
of heart. I sometimes come when you are not looking for me & 
it may be so again. 

This letter is written in a great Hurry. I can't think of all I 
wish to write this time. I have not heard from Edwin since he 
left the Regt. I do not see why he does not write his folks. Bill 
is yet in Richmond. I have not heard from him in several days. 
Tom is the only one with me. He is never well but is always up. 
Bennett 33 is % mile from us. Please send your letters to Black 
Creek & let Holt 34 back them for you & write often. 

Your Loving Husband, 


Camp near Orange C. House 
August 17 th 1863 
Dear wife, 

Yours of the 14 th came to hand yesterday. I am glad to hear 
you are all well. I am very unwell at this time with a bad cold. 
I hope these few lines may find you all well. You may tell Siller 35 
that Edwin is at Lynchburg. He is about well & ready to come 
back to the Regt. I don't see why he has [not] written to her 
before this time. I saw a man [who] came from there & said he 
was about well, so she need not be uneasy about him. I am looking 
for him to come back now every day. 

I forgot in my last letter to say anything about Perry Godwin. 36 
I am very sorry to have to inform his mother of his death. He 
died on the 26 th of July from the wounds he received in the fight. 
I was not notified of his death until very recently. They just 
stated to me that he died from gun-shot wound. He died at Char- 
lottesville, Va. The ball not being got out of his Shoulder, I 
reckon mortification must have taken place. I was very much 

33 Bennett Barnes, brother of Captain Ruffin Barnes, was born in 1841. 
He was 2nd Lieutenant of Company C, Forty-third North Carolina In- 
fantry Regiment. 

34 Joseph S. Holt, born in 1832, was a merchant in Black Creek and was 
worth $9,150.00 in 1860. He later served as postmaster of Black Creek from 
December 7, 1874, until October 5, 1889. 

85 Priscilla, wife of Edwin Barnes, was born in 1831. 

36 Perry Godwin, born in 1844, was a farm laborer. He served in Com- 
pany C, Forty-third North Carolina Infantry Regiment, C. S. A. 

86 The North Carolina Historical Review 

surprised to hear of his death after hearing he was getting along 
so well. 

You say you don't know as this War will ever stop. I tell you 
the thing is now on a balance & the Scale has got to turn one 
way or the other & that before long. I am looking forward now 
for an early Peace Stronger than I ever have. If I could see you 
I would give my reasons for Saying, but I will decline giving 
them by Letter. One thing I will say to you: I fear the time 
has passed when we could have made the most honorable peace. 
You must keep this to yourself. I would not express myself 
this way to the Soldiers. God only knows what will be the result. 
I think it will end some way and that Pretty Soon. I never 
have thought so before. They are now giving our men furloughs, 
one for every Two Companies. They do that in order to stop 

You must pull up with a good resolution. I think the war is 
nearly to a close. If not, I will try for a furlough before long. 
You don't imagine how glad I would be to come home. I must 
come to a close for the Present. I will write Short & often. 

Very Respectfully, your Loving 
Husband R. B. 


Camp near Orange C. H. 

August 25 th 1863 
Dear wife, 

I have been looking for a letter written by your dear hand 
some two or three days but failed to get one as yet. I am well 
& should have written you before now but was waiting to hear 
from you. I hope you are all well. There is nothing of any im- 
portance about here. Everything appears to keep very quiet as 
yet. Some of the men say we will not have any fighting here 
soon. I do hope and trust we will never have another. God only 
knows what we shall all have to encounter with before we get 
through this Troublesome war. 

Dear wife, there is one thing I have been thinking of writing 
to you some time. I have been very much concerned about the 
Salvation of my Soul pretty much ever since I left home. I have 
spent a great part of my time in Praying since I last saw you 
& I thank God I feel now like I was richly rewarded for it. Christ 
says seek & ye shall find, ask & ye shall receive, knock & it shall 
be opened unto you. All this is true if we seek with the right 
heart. The reason I did not say anything to you about same, I 
wished to be sincere in it & feel that my heart was changed 
before I made a public Profession to you. 

The Confederate Letters of Ruffin Barnes 87 

Dear wife, I wish I could See you & talk with you. I hope the 
time will soon come when we will be permitted to see each other 
again. I will say to you we have a very nice man here for our 
Preacher. He saw my condition & I told him how I had been dis- 
turbed about the welfare of my soul. He said he knew there was 
a great change in me after talking with me awhile. He told me 
I ought to connect myself with some Christian Church. I told 
him I preferred Joining the Methodist Church & I joined the 
Church the 3 d day of August & was baptized last Sunday. I 
can't write any longer on the subject at this time. 

I can say to you our men are now getting furloughs. Only 
three officers have furloughs at a time. I don't know whether I 
will get one of the first three or not. If I don't, I will the second. 
Some of them say I will get the first one. I think there's a chance 
of my coming before long. Oh, how glad I would be to come 
home! You may tell Daniel Campbell's 37 mother and wife I am 
going to see him today. I hope I will find him well. I must come 
to a close for the Present, hoping to see you before long. I remain 
your affectionate Husband as ever. God Bless you! 

Please write soon. 


Camp near Orange C. H. 

August 29 th 1863 - 
My Dear wife, 

Your kind letter came yesterday Evening & found me well. 
I was very glad to hear you were all well & was hoping I would 
soon receive a letter from you. I was afraid you were sick & 
could not write to me. I was getting very uneasy. I would give 
the last Dollar's worth of Property I have in this world to come 
Home & Stay with you, but the Lord only knows when this 
war will ever stop. I some times think it will never Stop until 
the People become more humble & thankful to the Almighty 
for his Passed Blessings. Oh, that every Human heart could 
feel as they should feel on this great important Subject! We 
had all got to feeling too independent within ourselves. 

Dear wife, I have often thought of what you have said to me 
when we appeared to be enjoying ourselves so well there about 
the Shop. The soldiers all seem to be taking a great deal more 
interest in going to hear Preaching than they have done. Our 


Daniel Campbell, born in 1837, was an illiterate farmer worth $1,137.00 
in 1860. He had a wife and one child at the beginning of the war. He served 
in Company A, Fifty-fifth North Carolina Infantry Regiment, C. S. A. 
Milly Campbell, his mother, was born in 1802. 

88 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Chaplain has been Preaching to our Regt. every night for two 
weeks. A great many have become very Serious on the Subject 
of Religion since he has been Preaching so much. 

You said you had been to the yearly meeting at Wilson. 38 I 
am glad for you to go & hear Preaching if I am not there to go 
with you. I hope the Lord will Bless us & Bring us together 
again sometime. I think if nothing happens I will get a furlough 
in three or four weeks. Some of our officers have sent up some 
now. I tell them it must be my time next time. Oh, I do want 
to come so bad! 

You said you had received the forty Dollars I sent you. I sent 
one Hundred more by Father. You had better be Looking out 
for some Salt & get Some as soon as you can. How are the corn 
& Bacon holding out? Will you have enough or not? You will 
have to hire some Person to assist them in Saving the fodder. 
Tell Cato 39 to attend to my mare & not let her Suffer for water. 
Tell Leony & Luzett Papa is going to try to come Home & see 
them before long. 

I must come to a close ; the mail is now going off. Please write 
often. Write how John Henry is getting along. I hope he will 
get well again. Edwin has not come to the Company yet. All 
the rest of the Boys are well. I don't see why Edwin does not 
write home. I still remain your Dear loving Husband. 

God Bless you forever! 


Camp near Kelley's Ford, 40 Va. 
October 3 rd [?], 1863 
Dear wife, 

I will again drop you a few lines to let you know of the State 
of my Health. It is not very good at this time nor has been since 
I wrote to you before. I have been having Chills for the last 
four or five days, but last night I missed the attack. I have 
been up all the time, only when I would have one. I will take 
care of myself the best that I can & hope I will not have any 
more. I hope these few lines may find you all well & doing well. 

There can't none of us get any furlough as they seem to 
think the Yankees are going to try to cross the River. As soon 
as this Excitement Passes off, I am going to come home if noth- 

88 A large number of the citizens around Wilson were accustomed to at- 
tend the yearly meeting at the old Tosneot Primitive Baptist Church 
(now known as the Wilson Primitive Baptist Church). It is the oldest 
church in the county and dates from 1756. 

39 Cato was a slave belonging to Ruffin Barnes. 

^Kelley's Ford, on the Rappahannock River, is near Culpeper. 

The Confederate Letters of Ruffin Barnes 89 

ing happens, though I can't tell when that will be, but I hope 
before long. If we have got to fight them this Fall, I don't care 
how soon it comes off. Then we can get furloughs who of us are 

I would like to have my coat from Home, but you may let it 
Stay until I come Home. If I don't get the Chance to come home 
time Enough for you to begin to fatten the hogs, you must Try 
to fatten Enough to make plenty of meat. I wish I could see them. 
Then I could tell you what Sort to fatten, but you must do the 
best you can. I hope the Lord will Provide for us Both. We had 
a very rainy day yesterday & most all night last night, but I 
managed to keep from getting wet & missed my Chill, but I 
think it was a great wonder I missed it in such weather. 

How do Leory & Luzetty like their confederate rings? I 
reckon they were very well pleased with them. I wish I could 
come to see you all for I have almost forgotten how you all look. 
I dreamed last night of being with you and was So well pleased, 
but when I woke up I found myself far away from the Pleasure 
I had just realized in my Slumber & how Sad it made me feel 
to think of the difficulties I might have to undergo before we 
could See Each other again ! 

You never Said whether your molasses was good or not. I 
want you to write me how you think the Potatoes are, whether 
they are any account or not. You must have the Children to Pick 
plenty of dry Peas if there are any. I don't know as I have any- 
thing more to write this time, so I will come to a close for the 
Present. I am looking for a letter from you tonight. You can't 
imagine how glad I am to get a letter from you. 



Camp 43 d Regt. N.C.T. 
October 21 st 1863 

Dear wife, 

Yours of the 8 th came to hand yesterday. I was very glad to 
hear from you & hear you were all well. Your letter found me 
well but very much fatigued from hard marching. We have 
been marching for the last two weeks. We did not lie up but one 
day in the time. We did not have any regular engagement with 
the enemy but had very heavy skirmishing for three days & a 
good portion of the time we were double-quicking after the 
Yankees. We all thought we would have a hard fight at Bull Run 
or Manassas, but there was only a part of our forces engaged 
there. Two of our Brigades were badly cut up. The one Bill 

90 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Bardin 41 was in suffered very bad. I saw Bill Bardin. He was 
wounded in the big toe very bad. I saw Ivey Yelverton 42 He was 
wounded in the thigh. He was wounded very bad. I think his 
thigh was broken. 

After the fight was over we commenced tearing up & burning 
the Rail Road. The Yankees never troubled us any more after 
we turned back. We burned the Rail Road from Manassas to 
the Rappahannock River, a distance of about thirty miles. We 
captured a good many prisoners but I have not heard how many 
yet. We did not have near as much fighting to do as we all 
thought we would have to do when we found out where we were 
going. We are in no regular camp yet. We are now about seven 
miles from Culpeper. I can't tell where we will go in camp or 
when, but I hope it won't be long, for I think we have all done 
enough for one campaign. We had some very rainy bad weather 
while we were on the march. I think & do hope we will all have 
some rest now. Always when we are on those tramps we don't 
get any furloughs. I won't promise you when I will come, but 
you must not get out of heart there will be a chance for me to 
come after awhile. I wish I could see you. I could tell you of a 
great many things I have had to encounter with since I saw you. 

I should of written you sooner but could not send off my let- 
ter while we were marching. You may tell Silas I received his 
letter the same time I did yours. I am sorry to hear Silas had 
such a sick family. He has had a hard time. You must try to 
fix all the children off with shoes the best you can. I will come 
as soon as I can. I am sorry peas are scarce and not anything to 
fatten hogs with but corn and I reckon that is sorry, too. The 
only thing I like to have forgotten: Stephen Boyett, Jack Bos- 
well 43 & Hance Davis 44 all deserted after we started on this 
march. I think they are making their way home. I must come 
to a close for the present. I want you to write soon. I will write 
soon as we get in camp. 

I remain your loving husband, 


41 He was probably William H. Barden, son of Arthur Barden and wife 
Penelope Simms Barden of Wayne County. 

42 Ivey Yelverton was also a Wayne County man. 

43 Jack Boswell was undoubtedly J. J. Boswell, farm laborer, listed in 
the Wilson County Census of 1860. He was born in 1830 and had a wife 
and four children. Jesse J. Boswell was a private in Company C, Forty- 
third North Carolina Infantry Regiment, C. S. A. 

44 Probably Henderson Davis of Company C, Forty-third North Carolina 
Infantry Regiment, C. S. A. He was born in 1840 and was an illiterate 
day laborer. 

The Confederate Letters of Ruffin Barnes 91 


[October 22, 1863] 

Dear wife, 

Since I have finished my letter, I received one from you writ- 
ten the 14 th of Oct. I see from your letter you did not know we had 
been on the march, but you see from my letter I wrote first that 
we have had a very hard tramp. I wish I could have been with 
you all when William 45 & John Wasdon were there. William 
Barden told me that John Wasdon was gone home. I think Bill 
will get a furlough for his big toe is shot all to pieces. Poor Ivey 
Yelverton was a pitiful looking sight. 

You say you think some one has taken my pocket book. You 
never said what sort of one it was, but the note you spoke of 
Dempsy Watson 46 has got. Daniel 47 paid half the note ; the other 
half belonged to Jesse Watson & I passed the note over to Dempsy 
Watson, so I hope the pocket book you alluded to is somewhere 
about the House. I can't have any recollection of doing anything 
with the Book at all, only I think my large Pocket Book was in 
the Desk behind the Drawer. If it is not there, I can't tell where 
it is. You had best not leave things too loose about the House 
when you are not there, for no one can tell who his friends are. 
I am sorry Luzetty has broken her ring. I know she hated it. 

Well, I will come to a close for the Present. I want you to 
write often. Very Respectfully, 

Your Loving Husband, 


P. S. I would like very well to lie under those Pretty Blankets 
with you. 


Camp near Kinston 

Feby 22 d 1864 
Dear wife, 

Your letter by Tom has been Read. I am glad to hear you are 
all well. I am well & hearty. I am sorry that Mrs. Lynch 48 is 
trying to be so large. I think the best way you can manage is 
for her to stay to herself. I want you to let her go Back to her 
house & stay there. If you & she can't get along, there is no use 
trying to stay together. You may give her all that you think 
you can spare. I told Lynch when he came I could let him have 

46 This seems to refer to William Wasdon, rather than William Barden 
or William Barnes. 

^Dempsey Watson, born in 1812, was a farmer worth $4,755.00 in 1860. 
His wife Edith was born in 1810. 

47 This may refer to Daniel Campbell above. 

48 Caroline Lynch was a free Negro woman born in 1837. 

92 The North Carolina Historical Review 

what you could spare. You may tell Lynch 49 that I had rather she 
would stay in her House as you & she can't agree. I don't see 
why she made such a bargain & then flew from it so quickly. 
The Best way you can do is to attend to your own Business. I 
think you will be better satisfied. I want you to tell Lynch that 
our Bargain shall all be right. I told Lynch his wife could have 
corn from my House & all the Bacon I could Spare. I left that 
to you to say what you could Spare & he & I were to settle that 
ourselves. You may tell Lynch that all will be right with me & 
him & tell his wife I had rather she would not stay as one of 
the family. I think you had best attend to your own Business 
than to be run over by a negro. You know already she will not 
do to depend upon. 

[The remainder of this letter has been lost.] 


Camp near Kinston 

April 5 th 1864 
Mr. Elias Barnes 

Dear father, 

I will drop you a few lines to inform you we are all well at 
Present & I hope these few lines may find you all the same. I 
have no news of any importance to write you at this time as 
all things remain quiet Down this way. This gun Boat will soon 
be completed. Then I think you may look out for another dem- 
onstration at Newbern, though I cannot tell anything about the 
Program. It is generally Believed Genl. Lee will fall Back 
around the fortifications of Richmond Before he offers Genl. 
Grant a fight. 

I would like to know who are going to be candidates for Sheriff. 
I have been informed that John T. 51 was going to run again, 
also W. W. Batts 51 & Garry Fulghum 52 were spoken of. It Begins 
to be time if I am going to run to let it be Known. Therefore, 

49 Wyatt Lynch, an illiterate free Negro, was born in 1830. He was a plas- 
terer and brickmason by occupation. 

50 John Thomas Barnes (December 22, 1830-1894) was a son of Edwin 
Barnes and wife Theresa Simms Barnes. He was sheriff of Wilson County 
1860-1864 and a commissioner of the town of Wilson in 1866 and probably 

51 William Woodard Batts (September 18, 1827-August 20, 1869) was 
a son of William Batts and wife Martha Woodard Batts. The Wilson 
County Census of 1860 described him as a farmer worth $17,270.00. He was 
a justice of the peace and a colonel of the Wilson County Militia. During 
the War between the States, he served as a commissary officer for the 
North Carolina State Militia. 

53 Garry Fulghum, born in 1834, was a merchant at Saratoga and was 
worth $3,000 in 1860. He was 1st Lieutenant of Company B, Second 
North Carolina Infantry Regiment, C. S. A., and was paroled at Appomat- 
tox Court House. 

The Confederate Letters of Ruffin Barnes 93 

you may say to the People that I am candidate also. 53 If Garry 
Fulghum does run, he will cut me out of several Votes, but I am 
going to run. I don't care how many there are in the field. If 
I am Beaten, I hope I will have the honor of saying I was beaten 
by a gentleman, as I look upon all that have been spoken of 
Being such. I have been requested By one man to be a candidate ; 
that was W. G. Sharp. 54 I understand he is down on the Present 
Sheriff from some cause or other ; what [it] is about I am unable 
to say. You may tell the People when you go to Wilson again 
that I am certainly a candidate. I want you to let them know 
that I am a candidate. I also want you to write me what you 
think the Prospects are of my Being Elected. I first heard that 
Bill Sharp 55 was going to run, But since Holden 56 is going down 
so fast, he has declined. I don't believe Holden will get any Votes 
at all in this Brigade. I never saw a man come down as fast as 
he has since Gov. Vance 57 Commenced Speaking. Everybody is 
for Gov. Vance again. 
Well, I will close for the Present. 

I remain your son as ever, 


[Early May, 1864] 

[The first part of this letter is both incomplete and illegible.] 
.... to do, But times have been bad everywhere this Summer. 
There never was such fighting Known Before. I think though 
the Yankees are very much dispirited. This makes three times 
we have struck this army up here in Twenty days, and I think 
there will not be any fighting between us any more. 

I can say to you there has just been a good rain here. I was 
waked up this morning by the water running under me. There 
has not been any rain here Before in more than two months. 
Most of the streams are dried up and the vegetation is nearly 
Burned up. I never Saw anything like it Before, But People go 

63 Ruffin Barnes was eager to win the office of sheriff of Wilson County, 
for that would have permitted him to resign from the Confederate States 
Army and return home. 

64 Willie Gray Sharpe, born in 1824, was in 1860 a merchant of Joyner's 
Depot (one mile north of the present Elm City) and worth $29,055.00. He 
served in Company E, Nineteenth North Carolina Cavalry Regiment, 
C. S. A. 

"Probably William H. Sharpe who served in Company H, Seventy-fifth 
North Carolina Cavalry Regiment, C. S. A. Many of the Sharpes were 
Republicans at this time. 

M W. W. Holden of Raleigh later became Provisional Governor of North 
Carolina by the appointment of President Andrew Johnson. 

57 Zebulon Baird Vance was one of the most popular governors North 
Carolina ever had, and was an incomparable stump-speaker. 

94 The North Carolina Historical Review 

in Principally for wheat here in the valley & wheat crops were 
very good. You say you have the Shoats up. I hope I will have 
the Pleasure of helping you Eat some of them. If anything in 
this World would give me Pleasure, it would give me Pleasure to 
come home now. I could tell you something of the Horrors of 
war. If I was all that had to encounter with it, I could never 
stand it, but there are thousands of others in a like condition. 

Tell Father I reed, his letter last night and was glad to hear 
all were well. Tell him all the Boys are well. I will write him in 
a few days. He said he thought my Election was safe if Batts 
did not get many in the army. He will not get but a very few in 
the army. There has been but little said about the Election in 
the army. We have had such a time that I thought it Best to 
say But little in reference to the Election. I think I will get as 
many in the army as all three of the others. A vote in the 
army will Be small as so many are wounded & in [the] hospital. 
My Co. will not give more than 18 votes: some of them too 
young to vote, others in [the] Hospital. 


Dear wife, 


43 d Regt. N. C. T. 
May 23, 1864 

I will drop you a few lines to inform you I am well except a 
Bad Cold. We have just got with our old Brigade. I saw Bunyan 
& Bennett today. Bun has been through all the fighting unhurt. 
It is now thought that Grant is moving his army down on the 
Peninsula. Our army is now at Hanover Junction about Twenty 
miles north of Richmond. Oh, I am so thankful I have [been] 
spared so far! I hope the Lord will see me through safely. My 
whole trust is in Him. [The next five lines have been scorched 
beyond legibility.] 

Dr. Brooks 58 cannot Help as the law compells him to enroll 
all free negroes. I think my chance is very good of Being Elected 
if I am Spared until that time. You must tell Penny 59 next time 
she goes a fishing not to fish for Roaches. She must put on more 
bait. Tell Lynch he must make my colt gentle. I have just read 
your letter written the first of May. Direct your letters to Rich- 
mond, Daniel's Brigade. Daniel 60 is killed, but no other Brigadier 

58 Presumably this was A. G. Brooks of the Black Creek community. He 
had a considerable farm and was worth $43,740.00 in 1860. 
69 Penny is thought to have been a slave woman. 
4,0 General Junius Daniel was killed at Spottsylvania Court House on May 

12, 1864. 

The Confederate Letters of Ruffin Barnes 95 

has been assigned to our command yet. Barna Tomlinson 61 is 
Killed & Thomas Atkinson, 62 Pat Wooten 63 wounded, John Wat- 
son 64 slightly wounded. 

64 John H. Watson, son of Dempsey and Edith Watson, was born in 1840 
and was a student in 1860. He served in Company F, Fourth North Caro- 
lina Infantry Regiment, C. S. A. 

I will close for the present, remaining 

Your Loving Husband, 


Bivouac 43 d N. C. T. 
June 10 th 1864 

Dear wife, 

It is again I am Permitted to drop you a few lines. I can 
inform you that I am slightly unwell at writing. I have not 
Been hearty in several days & ain't Sick much. I hope this may 
come to hand & find you all well. Reuben Hayes 65 just got a let- 
ter from his brother stating that he heard I was killed. I am 
very sorry such news went there. I fear you got the same sad 
news, but by the Help of Kind Providence I am able to inform 
to the contrary that no. You have Heard Better before this time, 
which I hope may always be the case. There is no fighting going 

61 Barna Tomlinson, born in 1837, was a farmer by occupation and in 1860 
lived with his widowed mother, Elizabeth Tomlinson (born in 1800), who 
owned modest property valued at $1,250.00. He served in Company A, 
Fifty-fifth North Carolina Infantry Regiment, C. S. A. 

62 This seems to be James T. Atkinson, born in 1838, who served in 
Company F, Fourth North Carolina Infantry Regiment, C. S. A. He was a 
student in 1860 and lived with his father, Lovett Atkinson (born in 1800) 
who was worth $14,418.00. 

63 William Patrick Wooten was born in Wayne County in 1844 and moved 
to Wilson with his widowed mother in 1856. He saw more than his share 
of action in the War between the States as a private in Company F, Fourth 
North Carolina Infantry Regiment, C. S. A. At the Battle of Seven Pines he 
was severely wounded in the arm, and at the Battle of Spottsylvania Court 
House a shot plowed across his left thigh and left a wound twelve inches 
long. After a furlough of about one hundred and four days he returned 
to the army and was captured at the Battle of Winchester on September 
19, 1864. Sergeant Wooten was confined for two months in the Federal 
Prison at Point Lookout, but was then exchanged and joined his company 
during the retreat from Petersburg. On April 7, 1865, he was wounded in 
the right thigh with an explosive bullet at the Battle of High Bridge and 
was carried to Appomattox Court House where he was paroled. It took him 
four months to recover from this wound. Clement A. Evans, Confederate 
Military History (Atlanta, 1899), IV, 807-808. 

65 Reuben Hayes, great-grandson of elder Reuben Hayes of Wayne County, 
was born in the present Wilson County in 1837. In 1850 he was a farm 
laborer and owned property worth $300.00 He served as a private in 
Company C, Forty-third North Carolina Infantry Regiment, C. S. A. 

96 The North Carolina Historical Review 

on now, only Skirmishing at long intervals, both armies con- 
fronting each other. How soon the fighting may Be renewed 
I am unable to say. Both armies are very tired & [a] great many 
getting sick very fast. 

James Boyett 66 has just come in & Brought me news that you 
were all well. So said the old man Elias, 67 which gave me great 
satisfaction to hear. It is very seldom I Hear from you. I re- 
ceived your letter that was written the 26 th ult. ; have not had 
one since. Surely you do not write often. I wish I could get a 
letter from you every week. It affords me great Pleasure to 
read one from you. You must Eat some Plums & Cherries & 
think of me while you Eat them for [I] don't expect to see one 
here at all. I have dreamed now two nights of seeing you & Oh, 
how pleasant it is to dream of seeing one that feels so near my 
heart. I do hope the time is not far distant when I can realize 
my happy Dreams & know you wish so too. May God Pardon & 
Bless us Both in this our time of great need is my Prayer. 

To a loving wife, 

43 d Regt. near Strausburg 
July 23 d 1864 

Dear wife, 

I again have the Pleasure of dropping you a few lines to in- 
form you I am well as common & yet unhurt. We had a pretty 
hard fight 68 on the 19 th of this Inst., but thank God I came out 
unhurt again. None of my Brothers were in the fight. Bill came 
to the Co. next morning after the fight. One of my men was 
killed dead on the field, 7 others wounded. I only carried 24 men 
in the fight and 8 of them were killed & wounded. William Whit- 
ley 69 killed, K. W. Taylor 70 mortally wounded, W. B. Joyner 71 

68 James H. Boyett, son of James (born in 1807) and Sidney (born in 
1811) Boyett, was born in 1841 and was in school in 1860. His parents 
owned $12,450.00 worth of property in Oldfield Township. He served in 
Company C, Forty-third North Carolina Infantry Regiment, C. S. A. 

67 Elias is thought to have been a slave from the Black Creek community. 
Many trusted family retainers were sent to the scene of war to carry 
messages, food, or clothing to their young masters. 

68 This was either Darksville or Stevenson's Depot, near Winchester, 

69 William Whitley of the Black Creek area was an illiterate farm laborer 
born in 1838. He served in Company C, Forty-third North Carolina Infan- 
try Regiment, C. S. A. 

70 K. W. Taylor served in Company C, Forty-third North Carolina Infan- 
try Regiment, C. S. A. 

71 William B. Joyner was an illiterate day laborer, born in 1839. His 
parents were Hilliard (born in 1813) and Peninah (born in 1815) Joyner. 
He served in Company C, Forty-third North Carolina Infantry Regiment, 
C. S. A. 

The Confederate Letters of Ruffin Barnes 97 

supposed to be mortally wounded. I think those are left with 
the Enemy, but I am not certain. William F. Rowe 72 lost his 
right arm at the Shoulder Joint. He is on his way to Staunton 
& was very cheerful when I heard from him last. My orderly 
Sergt. was slightly wounded, Henry Kirby 73 severely wounded in 
the Hand, John Watson was wounded & died soon afterwards. 
Oh, I am so sorry so many of our Poor men are getting killed 
& on the other hand I am so thankful that I am yet Spared. When 
I look around & see all my Brothers together, I cannot feel 
thankful enough to think we have all Been spared where so 
many have been Slain on our right & left. I think the Boys all 
do feel very thankful. I hope the time will soon come when we 
can return to our once happy homes & Mother can look upon 
us and say, "I have a good and pious set of boys." 

I must close my letter for the Present. I have not heard from 
you in a long time. I hope we will get our mail in a few Days. 
You must not stop writing if you cannot get my letters. I hope 
you will get them after awhile. 

God bless you forever. 



Dear wife, 

Camp 43 d N. C. Regt. 
July 28 th 1864 

I again have an opportunity of Dropping you a few lines to 
inform you I am yet well. I had a letter from you yesterday 
which gave me great satisfaction to hear you were all well & 
to hear my crop looked tolerable well. We are now near the 
Potomac River. I think we will get marching orders in the 
morning, but I hope we won't have to Cross the River. 

Well, today was election in the army. I got 19 votes in my 
Company, Batts 2, John T. none, Fulghum none. Fulghum got 
in his Regt. 21, I got none, John T. 4, Batts none. That was 
Fulghum's main Dependence in the election. I think I will be 
ahead of him in all the rest of the army. Whether I am elected 
or not I hope God will see me safely through this war time. 
Nothing will Prevent my staying at home with you when this 
Bloody strife is ended, for if ever I see this war ended, I'd rather 
have nothing to call me from home so often. On Sunday last 

"William F. Rowe was a member of Company C, Forty-third North 
Carolina Infantry Regiment, C. S. A. 

73 Henry Kirby, son of Pitts (born in 1808) and Zilpha (born in 1814) 
Kirby, was born in 1841 and was a student in 1860, at which time his 
parents were worth $8,270.00. He served in Company C, Forty-third North 
Carolina Infantry Regiment, C. S. A. 

98 The North Carolina Historical Review 

when I reckon everything was quiet at home, we made an attack 
on the Yankees at Winchester. 74 My Dear wife, I have been in 
Six hard engagements with the Enemy this Spring & Summer, 
yet I am unhurt. Blessed be God for his Mercies ! 

I was very much surprised to think Elias Ferrell 75 should tell 
such a lie on me as he did. You will find a contradiction of it by 
my Company. I thought nothing But the best of feelings were Ex- 
isting Between me & him until I received your letter. I want 
you to hand this paper to Mr. Newsome 76 & let him see what 
advantage he has taken of me in my absence. I guess that will 
satisfy all who he told it to. I believe about all the men Present 
have assigned it in my Company. I will close for the Present. 

Hoping to hear from you soon, I remain as ever your 

True Loving Husband, 
P. S. We have received marching orders in the morning at Day 


Camp 43 d N. C. T. 

August 2 d 1864 
Mrs. Mary A. Barnes 

Dear wife, 

I avail myself of this Pleasant Task of dropping you a few 
lines to inform you I am well and I hope these few lines may 
soon come to hand and find you all Enjoying the same. I will 
say to you we are now at Bunker's Hill. We have Just come 
from Williamsport, Md. We arrived here yesterday Evening. 
I am now off on Picket with my Company on the road Leading 
from Bunker's Hill to Charlestown. We are having a very good 
time now if we had any money those People up here would have. 
I some times wish I had what little silver I have at home. I don't 
think it would ever do me any more good than it would now. Tom 
had fifteen cents in silver. We sent off & got as much honey as 
me & him & Bill could Eat with it. 

Well, I must tell you of a trade Doctor Brewer 77 offered me. 
He has got, he says, a fine piece of worsted goods & I have got 

74 The preceding Sunday was July 24, 1864. 

75 Elias Ferrell of the Black Creek area was a farmer worth $1,100.00 in 
1860. He was born in 1820 and had six children at the beginning of the 
war. He served in Company C, Forty-third North Carolina Infantry Regi- 
ment, C. S. A. The nature of FerrelPs lie is unknown. 

78 Whether this was James Newsome or Larry Newsome, it is impossible 
to say now. Both men lived around Black Creek and were considerably older 
than Ruffin Barnes. 

77 Dr. William Thomas Brewer (1832— December 30, 1870) was the 
Assistant Surgeon of the Forty-third Regiment on April 15, 1862. On 
December 3, 1866, he married Susan Wright Edmundson of Wilson County. 

The Confederate Letters of Ruffin Barnes 99 

a very good Pistol. He offers me a dress for my Pistol. I got my 
Pistol from a Yankee Col. on the Battle field at Snicker's Ford. 72 
He made me a present of it after he surrendered. I guess a Dress 
would Please you Better than a Pistol. You must write me. If 
you are anxious for a dress & I see any chance of getting it Home, 
I will send it to you. Brewer got it out of some Store over in Md. 

Last night about sunset while I was going to my Picket Post 
all alone & it being Sunday Evening, I began to think about you 
& Home & thinking I did wish I knew where you were at that 
time. It appeared to me I could almost see you sitting in the 
Porch & see the children Playing around you. It seemed so Plain 
to me I thought maybe it was a sign I would see you Before 
long. Oh, I do want to see you so Bad! I cannot Express my 
affections for you by letter as I wish to. You must guess at the 

Well, I am now relieved from Picket and am Back to the Regt. 
Now I will finish my letter. I & Lieut. Vines 79 are sitting together 
and he is one of my Best friends. I have just been Telling him 
about how I have been studying about you & what I would give 
to see you. Well, I will change the Subject & say something about 
the Hot weather. I think yesterday was the Hottest day I ever 
marched in my life. Did you ever hear Tell of Troops marching 
Before as we have done this Spring & Summer since we first 
Started on this campaign? But I think we are better off than 
if we had Been lying in the Trenches round Petersburg & Rich- 
mond, and we are more Healthy and are up here where we get 
the Best Kind of water to drink. I had much rather stay up here 
than to go Back there, though we get nothing up here to eat 
But Beef & Flour. A small piece of Bacon is a great thing. How- 
ever, the Boys all Keep in fine Spirit. There are but very few 
of my men with the Company ; there have been so many killed & 
wounded this spring & Summer. There have been Twenty-Eight 
of my men Killed & wounded this Spring & Summer. Thank God 
I and all of my Brothers are unhurt yet and in good health! 

Well, I must close. Consider me your affectionate Husband. 

God Bless you, 
M. A. B. 

78 This engagement occurred on July 17, 1864. 

79 Lieutenant Vines was probably from an Edgecombe County company. 


Wiley Buck and Other Stories of the Concord Community. By 
Henry McGilbert Wagstaff. With an editorial note by Louis 
R. Wilson. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. 
1953, Pp. vi, 118. $3.00.) 

Dr. Wagstaff, late professor of history at the University of 
North Carolina, again proves himself a master story-teller in 
Wiley Buck and Other Stories, in which he discusses the high- 
lights of his boyhood in Person County, North Carolina. The 
first chapter offers an engaging description of the rural com- 
munity in which the author lived. Then follow eight stories 
of persons and events which lived in his mind until he pre- 
pared this portion of his reminiscences many years later. The 
little book is not historical writing in the usual sense; but as 
one reviewer concluded about another of the same writer's 
publications not long ago, "There is not ... a dual phrase in 
this most engaging book/' Professor Wagstaff must have been 
a raconteur of rare abilities. 

The author tells his readers of many things which happened 
during his formative years: tramping through the woods, 
fishing, hunting, catching rabbits in traps made by a magnifi- 
cent and invalided brother, associating for a time with young 
Negroes, and ghost stories. Important animals in his young 
life included an irrrepressible goat, two dogs, "a runty pig," 
and a young bull. The dogs were domesticated; the goat and 
the bull were quite unpredictable; the bull was dangerous. 
Of the community events, the most enjoyable for most of the 
people in Concord, as in other rural communities of Wagstaff's 
and later times, were revivals or protracted church meetings. 
Public prayers, solicitation of new members by old church 
members, singing, taking up collections, and picnic suppers 
were features of these meetings. The revival was without 
doubt one of the most important events in the Concord com- 
munity. Traveling preachers (not entirely unlike the circuit 
riders of the earlier nineteenth century) and colporteurs 
(traveling church workers who went about from house to 


Book Reviews 101 

house selling Bibles and other religious publications ) helped 
keep alive an interest in religion between revivals. 

Two ex-captains of the Civil War also impressed the peo- 
ple of Concord. Both were scions of well-to-do families ruined 
by the Civil War; and, similar to Ashley Wilkes of Gone with 
the Wind, neither of them was able to adjust to the "new 
order" after Appomattox. The captains, unlike Wilkes, con- 
sumed large quantities of hard drink. One of them retained 
his manners and breeding; the other, who "was neither for 
nor against anything," became degenerate in nearly every 
respect. Of the Negroes best remembered by Professor Wag- 
staff, the most significant were Uncle Calvin and Wiley Buck. 
Uncle Calvin was a patriarch who adjusted sensibly and 
effectively to freedom during the late 1800's; Wiley Buck was 
a master huntsman and recluse who met a tragic death in his 
lonely cabin. All characters portrayed will live in the minds of 
the readers of Dr. WagstafFs book. 

Weymouth T. Jordan. 

Florida State University, 

Tallahassee, Fla. 

Outspoken, 150 Years of The News and Courier. By Herbert 
Ravenel Sass. (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press. 
1953. Pp. 120. $3.00.) 

We must be thankful for all contributions to one of our 
most neglected areas of research, the study of individual 
newspapers, their personalities, their "lives," their places in 
American society. And so, though the story of the Charleston 
News and Courier deserves much fuller treatment, our grati- 
tude should be expressed to Mr. Sass and to the University of 
South Carolina Press for giving us even so tantalizingly slight 
an account of this distinguished paper on the occasion of its 
150th anniversary, January 10, 1953. 

This material was first printed in the special sesquicenten- 
nial edition. We are told in a foreword by Thomas R. Waring, 
present editor of the paper, that "many readers have sug- 
gested that the history, a chronicle of a community as well 
as the story of its newspaper, should be published in more 

102 The North Carolina Historical Review 

permanent form to preserve it for future reference. In re- 
sponse to these suggestions this book has been prepared." 

For the purposes for which the writing was first done, the 
account can be regarded as very good journalism. But from 
the point of view of the rich story there is to tell about The 
News and Courier and its contributions to and influence on 
Southern life, Mr. Sass has given us little more than a skeleton 
of the history. There is still to be done the challenging job 
of putting flesh on the bones by one who is willing to devote 
months and years to going through the files of the paper, 
living with it in all the chapters of its existence until the 
paper becomes the distinct personality and the vital thing it 
has been to its community for a century and a half. This will 
be an onerous task, and perhaps this is why we have so few 
histories of our newspapers. But one of these days we may 
discover that it can be also an exciting and a rewarding task. 

Mr. Sass divides his study into three parts. The first is a 
running account, in only 67 pages, of the main items in the 
life of the paper from the founding in 1803 of the Charleston 
Courier by Loring Andrews and A. S. Willington (the latter 
remained with the paper until his death in 1862 ) , through its 
opposition to the nullification movement, through the vicissi- 
tudes of secession and the war, the trying years of reconstruc- 
tion, the sale in 1873 of the Courier to the Charleston Daily 
News which had been started in 1865 and the merger of the 
two papers, on through the years of growing prestige and 
physical development. There are many pages in this account 
when we want to cry out to Mr. Sass : "Stop and tell us more 
about this." Or, "What happened in the interims of the high 
spots you touch upon?" 

Throughout most of its history the paper was an important 
and independent voice, unafraid and bold, so that the main 
title of Outspoken is particularly apt. It achieved this charac- 
ter, of course, because of the editors it was fortunate to have. 
Brief, too brief, accounts (written by various other persons) 
of the more important of these editors are included in the 
second part of the book, covering 43 pages. We also wish that 
these biographical sketches might have been integrated into 
the story of the paper, for the stories of Francis Warrington 

Book Reviews 103 

Dawson, of James Calvin Hemphill, of Narciso Gener Gon- 
zales, of Yates Snowden, of Robert Lathan who won a Pulitzer 
Prize for an editorial, and of others are inseparable from that 
of the paper itself. 

The third part of the book is a condensed chronology in 
six pages. 

Still, this little book helps to fill a yawning gap in our 
knowledge of America. 

Edgar E. Folk. 

Wake Forest College, 

Wake Forest. 

Savannah's Pioneer Theater from Its Origins to 1810. By J. Max 
Patrick. (Athens : The University of Georgia Press. 1953. Pp. 
viii, 94. $1.75.) 

Mr. Patrick begins his survey of the early theater in Savan- 
nah with the first known performance in Georgia, a production 
of Nicholas Rowe's The Tragedy of Jane Shore on September 
27, 1781, by the "Gentlemen of the Garrison" of the Royalist 
Army occupying Savannah. This and following productions 
were apparently well received since the gentlemen formed 
themselves into the Charitable Society and continued to offer 
plays through December 1 of the same year. There were no 
further productions until the fall of 1783 when four profes- 
sional performers, James O. Godwin and wife and a certain 
Kidd and wife organized a small company with local ama- 
teurs in supporting roles. The group offered occasional per- 
formances through March 20, 1786; then, after a two-year 
interval, another professional performer, a Mrs. Gardner, 
remained for a brief winter season 1788-1789 with the local 
amateurs. During the next four years, however, entertain- 
ment was at a low ebb, consisting mainly of wax works, tight 
rope dancing, lectures, etc. 

According to Mr. Patrick's history, the first full professional 
group to appear in Savannah was the excellent Charleston 
Company under the management of Thomas Wade West and 
a certain Henderson. The engagement began on August 15, 
1794, and extended through September 19, with the most 
popular British plays being offered three times weekly. After 


104 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the company returned to Charleston, a few performers under 
the management of a certain Edgar remained in Savannah 
for productions on October 9-25. Two years later the fire of 
November 26, 1796, which destroyed two-thirds of the town, 
interrupted theatrical activity until December 1, 1798, when 
the Charleston Company returned under Williamson and 
Jones for an engagement through January, 1799. During 1799 
the newly organized amateur Thalian Association also offered 
five productions in addition to one the following year. 

After the turn of the century, the Charleston Company 
returned to Savannah every year through 1805, usually during 
December and January for a five-week engagement. The 
company at this time was under the capable management 
of the well known Alexander Placide, and performances were 
well received each season. During the last engagement, how- 
ever, which ran only from January 1 through the 18th, 1805, 
there seems to have been some difficulty, and the company 
did not return during the remainder of the first decade of the 
century. During these five years there was little entertainment 
except for an engagement by Rannie and Berry from October 
22, 1807, through January, 1808, when there were occasional 
plays, evenings of ventriloquism, farces, and pantomimes. 
The last popular attraction was the Theatre Pittoresque et 
Mechanique, which remained from January 5 through the 
middle of March, 1808. 

As a background for the rather detailed survey of the early 
theater in Savannah, Mr. Patrick presents throughout a care- 
ful analysis of the social, economic, and religious factors 
which determined the nature and extent of theatrical activity. 
For example, Chapter Nine, which is entitled "Henry Hol- 
combe's Battle with the Windmills, 1797-1802," offers an 
account of the Reverend Holcombe's ineffective fulminations 
against the theater. In addition, the survey presents full in- 
formation on the backgrounds of actors and managers, the 
general content of plays, details of production, and reception 
in the newspapers, including a complete account of the first 
detailed theatrical review printed in Georgia. The last chapter 
of the volume is devoted to a discussion of Georgia's first 
play-wright, William Bulloch Maxwell, and an evaluation of 

Book Reviews 105 

his melodramatic tragedy The Mysterious Father, printed in 
1807 by Everett and Evans, publishers of The Republican and 
Savannah Evening Ledger. Indexes of the survey consist of a 
"Handlist and Index of Stage Performances in Savannah, 
1781-1810" and an "Index of Actors in Savannah, 1781-1810." 

In spite of the great amount of factual material which is 
covered by the survey, Mr. Patrick has consistently main- 
tained a very readable style, which will make the study a 
pleasure reference work. Its most significant value, however, 
is that the survey augments the existing studies of the theater 
in New Orleans, Charleston, Wilmington, Raleigh, Williams- 
burg, and Richmond. In this respect Mr. Patrick has made a 
valuable contribution to the completion of the history of the 
Southern regional theater. 

Donald J. Rulfs. 

North Carolina State College, 


Mandarin on the St. Johns. By Mary B. Graff. (Gainesville: Uni- 
versity of Florida Press. 1953. Pp. xvi, 128. Illustrations. 

Accurate yet readable local histories such as this one can 
do much to attract the general reader to history-at-home with 
the possibility of broadening his field of interest to include 
the state and national story. The value of "grass roots" history 
has often been expounded and Mandarin on the St. Johns 
might well be cited as a model in this class. 

Life in the small Florida town of Mandarin (near Jackson- 
ville), Miss Graff shows, has been anything but dull and 
though far removed from the national scene it has not been 
without its nationally prominent local citizens. The terrors of 
Indian raids, the anguish and distress of civil war, the peace 
and congeniality of the postwar period, the community build- 
ing of churches and schools, the coming of the automobile, 
and the advances made in the twentieth century all have a 
place in the story. From diaries and letters as well as from 
official records have come interesting accounts of the develop- 
ment of early orange groves and the first struggles against 

106 The North Carolina Historical Review 

damaging insects; of Harriet Beecher Stowe's happy and 
socially constructive residence in Mandarin during the later 
years of her life; and of the development of shipping on the 
St. Johns River. 

More than a dozen full-page pictures of local persons and 
scenes, an 1883 playbill and an 1889 letter in facsimile, and a 
map on the endpapers all help to tell the story of Mandarin 
during nearly three centuries. Notes indicating the sources 
of information come at the end of the final chapter. A classi- 
fied bibliography and an index add to the usefulness of the 

A delightful foreword by Rembert W. Patrick, professor 
at the University of Florida, not only sets the stage for the 
account to follow but also contains words of advice and en- 
couragement which might well be taken to heart by other 
local historians engaged in similar projects. 

Miss Graff, a resident of Mandarin, is head of the Social 
Studies Department at Robert E. Lee High School in Jackson- 
ville, where she has taught for the past fifteen years. She is 
a graduate of Drake University and recently received the 
Master of Arts degree in history from the University of 

William S. Powell. 

The University of North Carolina Library, 
Chapel Hill. 

The Correspondence Between Henry Stephens Randall and 
Hugh Blair Grigsby, 1856-1861. Edited by Frank J. Klingberg 
and Frank W. Klingberg. (Berkeley: The University of Cali- 
fornia Press. 1952. Pp. ix, 196. $3.00.) 

This volume of correspondence between a Virginian and a 
New Yorker on the eve of the Civil War presents several 
facets to the contemporary reader. Most of the letters are 
concerned with the preparation of Randall's three-volume 
life of Jefferson, in which Grigsby ( the Virginian ) had a deep 
and informed interest. The letters also tell the story of a 
rapidly ripening friendship between the two scholars, whose 
mutual interests and similar tastes led to the exchange of 
communications which are so informal and unreserved (es- 

Book Reviews 107 

pecially on Randall's part ) as to be almost playful. A number 
of the letters, moreover, deal with the spurious May 20th 
Mecklenburg Declaration. Grigsby's arguments are so trench- 
ant and persuasive, that it is difficult to understand how the 
myth could have survived them. Finally, the last few letters 
of the correspondence reveal the heart-sickening sadness of 
moderates, both North and South, who saw extremists push 
their country into the tragedy of fratricidal war. Randall's 
letters are especially eloquent on this point. All in all, it is a 
most useful and interesting body of correspondence. 

The editors have performed their task with diligence and 
care. An introduction of seventeen pages sketches the lives 
and relationships of Randall and Grigsby and thus prepares 
the reader for the correspondence that follows. Numerous and 
detailed footnotes identify almost all the persons referred to 
by the letter- writers. Indeed, in this matter the editors are 
carried beyond the usual boundaries of diligence, for they 
identify such well-known individuals as John Marshall, 
George Tucker, Sydney Smith, George Bancroft, and even 
the celebrated Samuel Weller, whose fame by that time had 
crossed the Atlantic. But this is a small matter, an error (if 
it be one ) on the side of generosity. 

The publisher, however, has erred on the side of parsimony. 

This correspondence deserves a more attractive and enduring 

dress than the paper-bound volume in which it greets the 


Richard E. Yates. 
Hendrix College, 
Conway, Arkansas. 

American Gun Makers. By Arcadi Gluckman and L. D. Satterlee. 
(Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: The Stackpole Company. 1953. 
Pp. 243. $6.00.) 

In 1940 Col. Gluckman and Mr. Satterlee published the first 
edition of this book, and in 1949 they published newly 
gathered and revised material in the form of a supplement. 
This latest edition of American Gun Makers is a compilation 
of the earlier book and supplements along with hundreds of 
new items. 



108 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The new edition also contains the names of Confederate 
arms makers and United States Arms Inspectors. The latter 
is particularly valuable to collectors who have long puzzled 
over mysterious initials on United States martial arms. 

Names are listed alphabetically with a brief history of the 
maker when it is known. If the authors had arranged the over 
four thousand items by states or areas in which the gunsmiths 
worked, it would have been more useful to collectors interest- 
ed only in arms of a certain locality. 

According to the foreword of the book, sources used were 
directories, tax lists, local histories, tombstones, family and 
friendly reminiscences, oral traditions, magazine articles, 
newspaper advertisements, letters, maker's marks, and the 
arms themselves. Naturally, as the authors point out, there 
are bound to be some mistakes. Some of the names may be 
foreign, some may be repeated due to various spellings, and 
some may be owners who inscribed their names on their guns 
for security or pride. 

If an introduction had been included telling the history 
of American gun making the book would have greater interest. 
However, it is of real value as a reference for the gun collector. 

Dorothy R. Phillips. 

State Department of Archives and History, 

Hillsboro: Colonial and Revolutionary. By Frank Nash. With a 
Biographical Sketch by John J. Parker. (Chapel Hill: Orange 
Print Shop, Pp. xii, 79, Appendices, Index.) 

This work, originally published in 1903, is here reproduced 
with the addition of a biographical sketch of the author and 
an index. It is an interesting and useful sketch of the com- 
munity of Hillsboro from its earliest settlement to the end of 
the Revolution. Along with the growth of the town it portrays 
the lives of many of the figures who played leading parts in 
public affairs. Prominent examples are Thomas Burke, Francis 
Nash, Edmund Fanning, and William Hooper, though numer- 
ous others are included with statements of their individual 
contributions. There is thus throughout the work a clear con- 


Book Reviews 109 

nection between Hillsboro and the chain of events making up 
the general history of the colony. 

The author, though not a trained historian, did an excellent 
job of searching through "the public records in the court 
house here [at Hillsboro], the Colonial and State Records, 
Wheeler's books, Caruther's three books, Jones' Defence and 
McRee's Life of Iredell." (preface) In the spirit of the pro- 
fessional, he pointed out inconsistencies and in most such 
cases attempted a judicious estimate of what the records 
actually meant to history. On the whole, the book is well 
written, though there are occasional lapses into circulatory 
sentences and elliptical statements. 

The outstanding contributions of the work to North Caro- 
lina history are its clear characterizations of leaders and bold 
interpretations of events. Though everyone will find himself 
in disagreement with Nash on some points, no one can with 
justice accuse him of blurring the picture by deliberate in- 
tent or loose writing. As would be expected from his ancestry, 
training, and life experience, his presentation inclines to a 
conservative, legalistic, Whig slant. According to Nash, the 
Regulators were an undisciplined mob; the Tories were de- 
luded fanatics, restrained from wholesale rapine and murder 
only by the influence of an occasional gentleman officer from 
the regular British army; the lawyers, merchants, and success- 
ful planters in the vicinity of Orange County Courthouse were 
the leavening agency that furnished discipline, leadership, 
and courage to conquer a wilderness, accomplish a Revolu- 
tion, and build a state. Would that present day historians 
moving in the larger sphere of national and international 
events could arrive at some comparable degree of clarity! 

Paul Murray. 
East Carolina College, 

20 Giants of American Business. By Walter Wilson Jennings. 
New York: Exposition Press. 1953. Pp. 480. $5.00.) 

In the foreword to this volume Dr. Jennings, long a profes- 
sor of economics in the University of Kentucky, states that his 
purpose is "to give side lights on economic history in terms of 
the men who made that history. . . ." The well-written chap- 

110 The North Carolina Historical Review 

ters not only achieve that purpose but are positively enter- 

The subjects of these biographical sketches are divided into 
six groups of three or four each, according to whether their 
fortunes in business were connected with agriculture, manu- 
facturing, banking, transportation, foreign trade, or domestic 
trade. All important phases of economic life are thus covered, 
but no representative of the pure plunger or speculative pro- 
moter type is honored with a place in the list. Included are 
the best-known architects of American industrialism in the 
period of its lusty growth between the Civil War and the first 
World War, such as Carnegie, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, and 
Harriman. Some of the subjects, such as Stephen Girard and 
John Jacob Astor belong to an earlier period, while some, such 
as Alexander Legge, Julius Rosenwald and Andrew Mellon, 
reached the peak of their influence and power in the modern 
period. The author is to be commended particularly for pre- 
senting very significant persons, who have either previously 
lacked energetic press agents, or have not been as attractive 
to muckrakers. The chapters on James Oliver, the plow maker, 
and John McDonogh, the early nineteenth century merchant 
of the deep South, are good examples. 

Despite the limitations of space, Dr. Jennings goes far be- 
yond recounting economic exploits of these twenty men. He 
succeeds admirably in revealing their characters and per- 
sonalities. In every case the family background is given, the 
motives behind their careers are explored, and their personal 
characteristics are revealed by frequent anecdotes. Although 
the author acknowldeges his debt to numerous biographers, 
he has not merely selected material from them. He displays 
no evident purpose either to praise or to blame; he simply 
exposes the men to the reader's view. 

For anyone interested in the lives of men who have played 
major roles on the stage of American business, the book is a 
good one to be read from beginning to end, or to be kept at 
hand so that a chapter may be read from time to time as oc- 
casion may arise. 

C. K. Brown. 

Davidson College, 


The State Literary and Historical Association, holding its 
fifty-third annual meeting on Friday, December 4, in Ra- 
leigh, heard the following program at the morning session: 
business meeting; "The North Carolina Department of Ar- 
chives and History— The First Half Century," a paper read 
by Henry S. Stroupe of Wake Forest; "North Carolina Non- 
Fiction Books of the Year," read by Hoke Norris of Winston- 
Salem; "Our Literary Awards," by Richard Walser of Ra- 
leigh; the presentation of the R. D. W. Connor Award by 
Paul Murray of Greenville; presentation of the Roanoke- 
Chowan Poetry Award by Mrs. Bernice Kelly Harris of Sea- 
board; and the presentation of the American Association of 
University Women Juvenile Literature Award by Mrs. Carl 
A. Plonk. At a subscription luncheon, Dougald MacMillan 
of Chapel Hill addressed the group on "North Carolina Fic- 
tion for the Three Years Ending August 31, 1953— A Review"; 
and this was followed by a meeting of the executive commit- 
tee. The evening sessions heard Frontis W. Johnston of 
Davidson address the group on "The Courtship of Zeb 
Vance"; Allan Nevins of New York on "New Looks at Ameri- 
can History"; the presentation of the Mayflower Society 
Award by Mrs. Preston B. Wilkes, Jr., of Charlotte; and the 
presentation of the Sir Walter Raleigh Award by Miss Clara 
Booth Byrd of Greensboro. 

In the order of their presentation, the annual awards and 
their recipients were: R. D. W. Connor Award— Hugh F. 
Rankin of Chapel Hill for his article, "The Moore's Creek 
Bridge Campaign," published in The North Carolina Histori- 
cal Review (July, 1953); Roanoke-Chowan Poetry Award- 
Frank Borden Hanes of Winston-Salem for his volume of 
verse, Abel Anders; AAUW Juvenile Literature Award— 
Latrobe and Ruth Carroll of Asheville for their book, Peanut; 
Mayflower Society Award— LeGette Blythe of Huntersville 
and Dr. Mary T. Martin Sloop of Crossnore for their volume, 
Miracle in the Hills; and the Sir Walter Raleigh Award— 
Inglis Fletcher of Edenton for her series of North Carolina 



112 The North Carolina Historical Review 

historical novels, and Frances Gray Patton of Durham for her 
collection of short stories entitled The Finer Things of Life. 

Association officers elected for 1954 are Inglis Fletcher, 
president; D. Hiden Ramsey of Asheville, S. J. Erwin, Jr., of 
Raleigh, and D. J. Whitener of Boone, vice presidents; and 
Christopher Crittenden of Raleigh, secretary-treasurer. Those 
elected to the executive committee are Paul Murray of Green- 
ville and James A. Gray of Winston-Salem. 

The North Carolina State Art Society held its twenty- 
seventh annual meeting in Raleigh on Wednesday and Thurs- 
day, December 2-3. During the Wednesday morning session, 
the following members were elected to the Board of Directors 
for the calendar year 1954: Edwin Gill of Raleigh, Henry L. 
Bridges of Raleigh, Jonathan Daniels of Raleigh, Clemens 
Sommer of Chapel Hill, Clarence Poe of Raleigh, Mrs. Julius 
Cone of Greensboro, William T. Hatch of Raleigh, and Mrs. 
Isabelle Bowen Henderson of Raleigh. Directors appointed 
by the governor are Robert Lee Humber of Greenville, Mrs. 
Charles A. Cannon of Concord, Sylvester Green of Chapel 
Hill, and Mrs. Louis Sutton of Raleigh. Ex-officio members 
of the Board remain unchanged from last year. At the lunch- 
eon following the business meeting, members and guests 
heard a discussion of progress made on the museum building, 
including an address by the architect, Edward W. Waugh of 

Purchase awards in the 1953 Annual Art Competition were 
presented in the Wednesday evening meeting to Going Back 
Chiltosky of Cherokee for his wood sculpture, "Great Horned 
Owl"; Kenneth Ness of Chapel Hill for his oil abstract, "Night 
Flight"; and John Chapman Lewis of Washington, D. C, for 
his oil painting, "Night Trawlers." Hobson Pittman of Phila- 
delphia, Pa., gave an illustrated address on American paint- 
ing. Tribute was paid Mrs. Katherine Pendleton Arrington 
of Warrenton, president of the Society, by Clarence Poe of 
Raleigh and William T. Polk of Greensboro, when a portrait 
of Mrs. Arrington was presented to the Society. The portrait, 
painted by Irving Wildes of New York and given by Mrs. 


Historical News 113 

Katherine Pendleton Conway of Warrenton, was received 
on behalf of the Society by Robert Lee Humber of Green- 
ville. At the conclusion of this meeting, members and guests 
attended a reception and preview of the North Carolina 
Artists' Sixteenth Annual Exhibition in the State Art Gallery. 
On Thursday afternoon the Board of Directors held its an- 
nual meeting, and the election of officers was held. All of- 
ficers serving in 1953 were re-elected, and, in addition, 
Robert Lee Humber was elected to the newly created ex- 
ecutive vice presidency. 

The North Carolina Folklore Society met in Raleigh on 
Friday, December 4, in its forty-second annual session. The 
program featured "Folk Music in a North Carolina Rural 
Community" by Robert J. Gould of Chapel Hill, and "Appa- 
lachian Banjo Tunes and Songs" by Paul Joines of Winston- 
Salem. Officers of the Society elected for the coming year 
are James R. York of Mocks ville, president; R. E. Washburn 
of Rutherfordton and Russell Grumman of Chapel Hill, vice 
presidents; and A. P. Hudson of Chapel Hill, secretary-treas- 

The North Carolina Society for the Preservation of An- 
tiquities held its thirteenth annual meeting in Raleigh on 
Thursday, December 3. The program for the morning session 
consisted of a business meeting; "Historic Buildings of East- 
ern North Carolina," a slide program by Mrs. Dorothy R. 
Phillips of the State Department of Archives and History; 
reports on restoration and preservation projects such as 
Old Salem, Tryon Palace, Edenton, Hezekiah Alexander 
House, and Haywood Hall. Officers re-elected to the Society 
were Mrs. Charles A. Cannon of Concord, president; Mrs. 
Inglis Fletcher of Edenton, vice president; and Mrs. Ernest 
A. Branch of Raleigh, secretary-treasurer. At the luncheon 
meeting Mrs. Elizabeth Stevenson Ives of Southern Pines and 
Mrs. Corbett Howard gave a report on the Elizabethan Gar- 
den. The evening program featured the introduction of new 
life members and presentation of the Charles A. Cannon 
Awards to LeGette Blythe of Huntersville, the late O. Max 
Gardner and Mrs. Gardner of Shelby, John Sprunt Hill of 

114 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Durham, the late Marshall Delancey Haywood and Mrs. 
Haywood of Raleigh, and Hugh T. Lefler of Chapel Hill. Paul 
Green of Chapel Hill presented the awards. Following the 
presentations, Mrs. Claude B. Foy sponsored a program on 
colonial New Bern which included "Sketch of Judge William 
Gaston's Life," by Mrs. Zebulon B. Vance, read by Robert L. 
Pugh of New Bern; "History of Tryon Palace," by A. T. 
Dill, Jr., read by Paul M. Cox of New Bern; "Tribute to Mrs. 
Richard N. Duffy," presented by Mrs. Emily Pollock Craw- 
ford; a skit, "An Evening at Tryon Palace," by J. Gaskill 
McDaniel, presented by the New Bern Little Theater; and 
an invitation to visit New Bern by Mayor M. L. Lupton. At 
the conclusion of the meeting, a reception was held for mem- 
bers and guests, with life members and officers receiving. 

The North Carolina Society of County and Local Historians 
met in Raleigh on Friday, December 4. The business session 
consisted of a reading of minutes, reports on county societies 
and tours, reports from the district vice presidents, and elec- 
tion of the following officers: William S. Powell of Chapel 
Hill, president; Jeffrey Stanback of Mt. Gilead and Manly 
Wade Wellman of Chapel Hill, vice presidents. The newly- 
established Smithwick Award went to John A. Oates of 
Fayetteville for his volume, The Story of Fayetteville and the 
Upper Cape Fear. 

The Roanoke Island Historical Association held a luncheon 
meeting for the membership in Raleigh on Wednesday, De- 
cember 2, with Martin Kellogg, Jr., presiding. 

On Saturday, December 5, the Society of Mayflower Des- 
cendants in the State of North Carolina held a breakfast 
meeting of the Central Carolina Colony in honor of Mrs. 
Preston B. Wilkes, Jr., of Charlotte and the winners of the 
Mayflower Award, LeGette Blythe and Dr. Mary T. Martin 

The History Department of The University of North Caro- 
lina in its annual News Letter reports the following faculty 
news items: Paul A. Marrotte has been appointed an instruc- 

Historical News 115 

tor after serving as part-time instructor for the past two years; 
Hugh T. Lefler has been appointed to the Historic Sites Com- 
mission by Governor William B. Umstead; Harold A. Bierck 
has been appointed to the State Department Advisory Com- 
mittee to the Commission on History of the Pan-American 
Institute of Geography and History; and J. Carlyle Sitterson 
has been appointed a member of the Bancroft Awards Jury of 
Columbia University to select the winner of the Bancroft 
Prize. A group of anonymous friends of J. G. de Roulhac 
Hamilton have presented his portrait, painted by Frank 
Stanley Herring, to the University of North Carolina. The 
portrait will hang in the search room of the Southern Histor- 
ical Collection, which Dr. Hamilton founded and directed 
for many years prior to his retirement in 1948. 

Publications credited to faculty members are Harold A. 
Bierck's "The Struggle for Abolition in Gran Colombia," 
Hispanic American Historical Review (August, 1953), and 
"Bolivar y la Esclavitud," Boletin de la Academia Nacional 
de la Historia (Venezuela, 1953); Wallace E. Caldwell's "An 
Estimate of Pompey," Studies Presented to David Moore 
Robinson (1953); James L. Godfrey's "Labor in Opposition," 
Virginia Quarterly Review (spring, 1953); Hugh T. Lefler's 
co-edited works, Documentary History of the University of 
North Carolina, by R. D. W. Connor, 2 volumes ( The Univer- 
sity of North Carolina Press, 1953 ) ; and J. Carlyle Sitterson's 
"Expansion, Reversion, and Revolution in the Southern Sugar 
Industry: 1850-1910," Bulletin of the Business Historical So- 
ciety (September, 1953). 

From the alumni of the graduate history department at the 
University the following news has been received: Clifford C. 
Norton, retired from the deanship at Wofford College, but 
continuing as professor of sociology, has received an honorary 
degree of doctor of laws from Wofford College; Blackwell P. 
Robinson is editing the revised North Carolina State Guide 
for the State Department of Conservation and Development; 
Horace H. Cunningham, professor of history at Elon 
College, has been appointed leader of the Burlington, N. C, 
American Heritage Group sponsored by the Ford Founda- 

116 The North Carolina Historical Review 

tion; George B. Tindall, who resigned his position at the 
Woman's College, has become assistant professor of history 
at Louisiana State University; William Y. Thompson has been 
promoted to associate professor of history at Presbyterian 
College; Dan M. Lacy has become managing director of the 
American Book Publishers Council; and Elmer D. Johnson 
has accepted a position at East Carolina College. 

Publications by alumni include: Elmer D. Johnson's A Brief 
History of Cherokee County, South Carolina (Gaffney, 
1952); Charles G. Sellers, Jr.'s "Colonel Ezekiel Polk: Pioneer 
and Patriarch," William and Mary Quarterly (January, 1953) ; 
J. Leonard Bates's "Josephus Daniels and the Naval Oil Re- 
serves," United States Naval Institute Proceedings (Feb- 
ruary, 1953); Charles B. Clark's Politics in Maryland During 
the Civil War ( Chestertown, 1952 ) , and "The Career of John 
Seymour, Governor of Maryland, 1704-1709," Maryland His- 
torical Magazine (June, 1953); Louis Von L. Naisawald's 
"Robert Howe's Operations in Virginia, 1775-1776," Virginia 
Magazine of History and Biography (July, 1952); Ernest M. 
Lander, Jr.'s "Two Letters of William Mayrant on His Cotton 
Factory, 1815," South Carolina Historical Magazine (Janu- 
ary, 1953 ) , and "Slave Labor in South Carolina Cotton Mills," 
Journal of Negro History (April, 1953); William S. Hoffman's 
"Andrew Jackson, State Rightist: The Case of the Georgia 
Indians," Tennessee Historical Quarterly ( December, 1952 ) ; 
and Sarah M. Lemmon's "Agricultural Policies of Eugene 
Talmadge," Agricultural History. 

Dr. Samuel R. Spencer, assistant to the president and mem- 
ber of the History Department of Davidson College, has 
published Decision for War, 1917, with a foreword by Charles 
Seymour (West Rindge, N. H.: Richard R. Smith Publisher, 
Inc., 1953). 

The Social Sciences Department of Wake Forest College 
announces the promotion of David L. Smiley to assistant pro- 
fessor. On December 7 Dr. Smiley read a paper entitled 
"Cassius M. Clay and Southern Industrialism" before the 
Filson Club in Louisville ? Kentucky. 

Historical News 117 

Queens College announces the appointment of Lawrence 
R. Nichols as assistant professor of history, succeeding Miss 
Jessie Sue Bynum. 

Marvin R. Farley, assistant professor of history at Western 
Carolina College, is taking leave of absence during the cur- 
rent year to pursue work towards his doctorate in history. 
Mrs. Susie S. Taylor is substituting for Mr. Farley. 

The Currituck Historical Society held its first regularly 
scheduled quarterly meeting on Monday night, October 8, in 
the Currituck courthouse. Reports on research done in Cur- 
rituck County history were given by Gen. John Wood of 
Elizabeth City, Mrs. Evelyn Griffin of Shawboro, J. F. Pugh 
of Camden, and Mrs. Fay tie Cox of Moyock. Officers chosen 
for the coming year are Dudley Bagley of Moyock, president; 
Norman Hughes of Powell's Point, vice president; Mrs. Alma 
O. Roberts of Shawboro, secretary; Mrs. Nell M. Griggs of 
Poplar Branch, treasurer; and Mrs. Pearl E. West of Curri- 
tuck, curator. The group plans to hold regular meetings on 
the first Monday night in October, January, April and July. 

Permanent organization of the Washington County His- 
torical Association was completed on November 23, with the 
adoption of the constitution and by-laws and the election of 
the following permanent officers: Rev. E. M. Spruill of Plym- 
outh, president; R. F. Lowry of Plymouth, vice president; 
Rev. George C. Field of Creswell, secretary; Miss Matilda 
Alexander of Creswell, treasurer; W. S. Tarlton of Creswell, 
curator; and Mrs. Louise McGowan of Plymouth, director of 

At the November meeting of the Moore County Historical 
Association held in the Southern Pines library, E. T. Mc- 
Keithen, chairman of the county history project, reported 
to the group that Blackwell P. Robinson, currently at work on 
the history, would deliver the first portion of the manuscript 
very shortly. This part of the history covers the first 100 
years of settlement within the area. 


118 The North Carolina Historical Review 

On October 19 in Lincolnton a state historical marker was 
unveiled near the grave of J. G. Arends, pioneer Lutheran 
minister and first president of the North Carolina Lutheran 
Synod. Mr. Clarence Griffin of Forest City, a member of 
the Executive Board of the State Department of Archives 
and History, spoke at the ceremony, which was held in con- 
nection with the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the 
founding of the Synod. 

Representing the State Department of Archives and His- 
tory on Saturday, November 21, Mr. Clarence W. Griffin 
participated in the unveiling of a historical marker at the site 
of Cathey's Fort in McDowell County. Miss Ruth Greenlee 
of Marion presided over the unveiling program and Major 
T. Q. Whitmire, U. S. Army Chaplain's Corps, led the opening 
prayer. Mrs. Harold Dysort led the pledge to the flag and 
Mr. Griffin spoke on the marker program of the Department 
of Archives and History, after which several members of the 
Cathey family of Gastonia and Charlotte were presented. 
Miss Mary M. Greenlee of Old Fort read a paper on the his- 
tory of Cathey's Fort and accepted the marker on behalf of 
the McDowell Historical Society and the Greenlee Chapter 
of the D. A. R., which were the two sponsoring agencies. 
Major Whitmire concluded the program with a prayer. 

On October 4 the Hickory Tavern Chapter of the Daugh- 
ters of the American Revolution unveiled a marker at the site 
of the Old Hickory Tavern in Hickory. Those participating 
in the program were Mrs. Pearl Miller Tomlinson, presiding; 
Miss Alia Pearl Little; Rev. J. Elwood Carroll; Mrs. J. L. 
Kiser; Mrs. Harold G. Deal; Mrs. Wayne G. Houchins; Mrs. 
Joseph W. Shuford; Donald S. Menzies, mayor of Hickory; 
Raymond L. Hefner, president of the Catawba County His- 
torical Association; Karl Kinnard; Mrs. John S. Rowe; Clar- 
ence W. Griffin; Mrs. T. M. Johnson, the first child born in 
Old Hickory Tavern; Dr. H. D. Althouse; Walter A. Hahn; 
Mrs. E. S. Merritt; Mrs. George Albert Kernodle; Walker 
Geitner; Charles Raper Jonas, congressman of the North 
Carolina Tenth District; and Max R. Steelman, executive 

Historical News 119 

secretary of the Hickory Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Griffin 
presided during the unveiling ceremony at the marker, and 
the second portion of the program included music by the 
Lenoir Rhyne College band, directed by Robin F. Gatwood; 
the marker unveiling performed by Alexandra Elizabeth 
Campbell, Laura Frances Welton, Benny Goodman, Jr., and 
Joseph A. Moretz, III; marker presentation by Mrs. Pearl M. 
Tomlinson; marker acceptance for the City of Hickory by 
Mayor Donald S. Menzies; and dedication by Mr. Griffin and 
Mrs. Tomlinson. A reception was held by Mr. and Mrs. Ray- 
mond L. Hefner at the Old Log House. 

The organizational meeting of the Tyrrell County Historical 
Society was held in Columbia on September 11. The as- 
sembled group elected Sam H. Woodley, president, and Mrs. 
J. H. Swain, secretary-treasurer. Membership constitution, 
and by-laws committees were appointed. D. L. Corbitt of the 
State Department of Archives and History addressed the 
meeting on "Organizing a County Historical Society." 

The State Department of Archives and History has re- 
ceived a copy of the pamphlet, Suggestions for the Study and 
Writing of a County or Local History, prepared for November 
release by a committee composed of Hugh T. Lefler, Phillips 
Russell, William S. Powell, W. Frank Burton, Willis G. 
Briggs, Manly Wade Wellman, and W. P. Jacocks, chairman. 
The Department is also in receipt of Aylene E. and Cameron 
Cooke's Our Christmas Symbols (Raleigh: Graphic Press, 
1953, $1.00). 

The Archiv des Historischen Vereins des Kantons Bern, 
XLII, 249-290 (No. 1, 1953) carries the article "Christoph 
von Graffenried und die Griindung von Neu-Bern in Nord- 
Carolina" by Hans Gustav Keller. 

The Southern Historical Association held its nineteenth an- 
nual meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, November 12-14. In- 
cluded in the program were Dr. Percival Perry of Wake 
Forest College reading "The Naval Stores Industry in the 
Ante-bellum South"; Dr. Carl Pegg of The University of 

120 The North Carolina Historical Review 

North Carolina as chairman of the discussion program on 
"Europe in the Twentieth Century"; Dr. Fletcher M. Green 
of The University of North Carolina reading "The Spirit of 
'76"; Dr. Frontis W. Johnston of Davidson College as chair- 
man of the discussion program entitled "Social and In- 
tellectual Currents in the Late Nineteenth Century"; Dr. Wil- 
liam B. Hamilton of Duke University in a comment on the 
session entitled "Law and the Administration of Justice"; 
and Dr. Marvin L. Brown of North Carolina State College in 
an address, "American Independence through Prussian Eyes." 
Representing the State Department of Archives and History 
at the meeting were D. L. Corbitt, W. Frank Burton, and 
Edwin A. Miles. 

The Southern Book Company, 6 East Franklin Street, Balti- 
more, Maryland, in its catalog No. 150, Local History and 
Genealogy, lists the following as item 483: "Olds, Fred A. An 
Abstract of North Carolina Wills from about 1760 to about 
1800. Supplementing Grimes' Abstract of North Carolina 
Wills, 1663 to 1760. Prepared from the Originals and Other 
Data. 8 vo, cloth, Reprinted: Balto., 1953. $10.00. This will 
be an exact reprint of the very rare original edition of which 
only 125 copies were printed for distribution. Preparations 
are now under way to republish this work, but exact date of 
publication is not certain. If you wish to place your order 
now, we will gladly notify you when the book is available." 

On November 21, G. P. Putnam's Sons awarded for the 
first time the $2,000 Putnam Prize through the English De- 
partment of The University of North Carolina to Mrs. Doris 
Betts of Chapel Hill, for her collection of short stories, The 
Gentle Insurrection. The Putnam Prize will be awarded an- 
nually for the best manuscript, either fiction or non-fiction, 
submitted by a graduate or undergraduate student of The 
Greater University of North Carolina. Mrs. Betts's book is 
scheduled for publication by Putnam in April. 

Books received include: Mary B. Cowdrey, American 
Academy of Fine Arts and American Art-Union, volumes I & 
II (New York: The New-York Historical Society, 1953); Bur- 

Historical News 121 

leigh Cushing Rodick, American Constitutional Custom: A 
Forgotten Factor in the Founding (New York: Philosophical 
Press, 1953); Theodore Sizer, The Autobiography of Col. 
John Trumbull (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1953); 
Richard J. Hooker, The Carolina Backcountry on the Eve of 
the Revolution (Chapel Hill: The University of North Caro- 
lina Press, 1953); Curtis Carroll Davis, Chronicler of the 
Cavaliers (Richmond: Dietz Press, 1953); Collections of the 
Connecticut Historical Society, volume XXVII (Hartford: 
Connecticut Historical Society, 1952); Samuel R. Spencer, 
Jr., Decision for War, 1917 (West Rindge, N. H.: Richard R. 
Smith Publisher, Inc., 1953); R. D. W. Connor, A Documen- 
tary History of the University of North Carolina 1776-1799, 
volumes I & II (Chapel Hill: The University of North Caro- 
lina Press, 1953); William P. Dillingham, Federal Aid to Vet- 
erans 1917-1941 ( Gains ville: University of Florida Press, 
1953); Gregor Sebba, Georgia Studies: Selected Writings of 
Robert Preston Brooks (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 
1952); Avery O. Craven, The Growth of Southern National- 
ism 1848-1861 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University 
Press, 1953 ) ; Paul Apperson Reid, Gubernatorial Campaigns 
and Administrations of David S. Reid, 1848-1854 (Cullo- 
whee, N. C: Western Carolina College, 1953); William S. 
Ewing, Guide to the Manuscript Collections in the Clements 
Library (Ann Arbor, Mich.: The William L. Clements Li- 
brary, 1953); Frank Nash, Hillsboro: Colonial and Revolu- 
tionary (Chapel Hill: The Orange Printshop, 1953); Francis 
Butler Simkins, A History of the South (New York: Alfred A. 
Knopf, Publisher, 1953); Mary B. Graff, Mandarin on the St. 
Johns (Gainsville: University of Florida Press, 1953); Hugh 
Lefler and Paul Wager, Orange County 1752-1952 (Chapel 
Hill: The Orange Printshop, 1953); Jonathan Truman Dorris, 
Pardon and Amnesty under Lincoln and Johnson (Chapel 
Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1953); W. Stitt 
Robinson, Jr., Richard Oswald's Memorandum (Charlottes- 
ville: University of Virginia Press, 1953); J. Max Patrick, 
Savannah's Pioneer Theater from its Origins to 1810 (Athens: 
University of Georgia Press, 1953); William T. Polk, Southern 
Accent (New York: William Morrow and Co., 1953); Louis 

122 The North Carolina Historical Review 

D. Rubin and Robert D. Jacobs, Southern Renascence: The 
Literature of the Modern South (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins 
Press, 1953); Clifford M. Lewis and Albert J. Loonie, The 
Spanish Jesuit Mission in Virginia 1570-1572 (Chapel Hill: 
The University of North Carolina Press, 1953); William S. 
Powell, St. Luke's Episcopal Church 1753-1953 (Salisbury, 
N. C: St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 1953); William Basker- 
ville Hamilton, Thomas Rodney, Revolutionary and Builder 
of the West (Durham, N. C: Duke University Press, 1953); 
James Thomas Flexner, The Traitor and the Spy (New York: 
Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1953); Henry McGilbert Wagstaff, 
Wiley Buck and other Stories of the Concord Community 
(Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1953); 
John D. Barnhart, Valley of Democracy (Bloomington: Indi- 
ana University Press, 1953); John R. Lambert, Jr., Arthur Pue 
Gorman (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 
1953); Julian P. Boyd, Mina R. Bryan, and Elizabeth L. 
Hutter, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, February 1785 to 
October 1785, volume 8 (Princeton: Princeton University 
Press, 1953); Louis R. Wilson, Selected Papers of Cornelia 
Phillips Spencer (Chapel Hill: The University of North Caro- 
lina Press, 1953). 


Dr. C. O. Cathey is an associate professor of history at The 
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 

Dr. Joseph H. Taylor is a professor of history at North 
Carolina College at Durham. 

Dr. Lawrence S. Thompson is director of Libraries at the 
University of Kentucky, Lexington. 

Dr. C. A. Weslager is the author of several books and 
articles on historical subjects, and resides in Wilmington, 

Dr. Philip M. Rice is an assistant professor of history and 
political science at North Carolina State College, Raleigh. 

Mr. Hugh B. Johnston, Jr., is an instructor in Latin- Ameri- 
can history at Atlantic Christian College, Wilson. 

[ 123 ] 


The North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Volume XXXI April, 1954 Number 2 



By Donald J. Rulfs 

The earliest newspaper notices of professional theatrical 
performances in Fayetteville appeared during the years 
1795-1800 when traveling companies, usually from Charles- 
ton, South Carolina, presented plays on apparently impro- 
vised stages in public rooms. 1 During 1801-1802, however, 
a theater was constructed on the lower floor of a new brick 
Masonic Lodge building, and the Fayetteville Thalian As- 
sociation made arrangements with the Masons for the use 
of the new theater. 2 The earliest performances in the theater 
were amateur productions by the Thalians and by students 
of Fayetteville Academy for the purpose of raising funds for 
the school. 

Although the extant files of Fayetteville newspapers are 
quite incomplete until 1823, scattered earlier issues of these 
papers and early issues of the Raleigh Register indicate that 
from the opening of the new theater in Fayetteville until 
1823 there were frequent productions by the students of 
the Academy and by the Thalian Association, which was in- 
corporated by the General Assembly in 1814. It is also very 
likely that traveling professional companies appeared in the 
theater before 1823, as they toured the circuit of theaters in 
New Bern, Wilmington, Fayetteville, and Raleigh. 3 

The first complete newspaper account of a professional en- 
gagement at the Fayetteville theater appears in issues of 

1 Archibald Henderson, North Carolina, the Old North State and the 
New (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1941) I, 643. 

2 Henderson, North Carolina, II, 649. 

3 Guion Griffis Johnson, Ante-Bellum North Carolina, a Social History 
(Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1937), 178. 


126 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The Carolina Observer ( Fayetteville ) from April 29 through 
June 10, 1824. On April 29, John Herbert and W. C. Drum- 
mond advertised that they would open the theater on May 3, 
although no titles of the plays for the opening night were 
given. The managers were Herbert, an English actor who 
had made his American debut at the Chestnut Street Theater 
in Philadelphia during 1817, and Drummond, also an Eng- 
lishman, who had first appeared in this country at the Holiday 
Street Theater in Baltimore in 1810. 4 Performances were an- 
nounced for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings; 
prices of admission were $1.00 for the front boxes and 50 
cents for the back boxes; the curtain time was 8:00 P.M.; and 
the theater bar was to be sublet as a concession. The company 
remained for five weeks and three days through June 11, and 
on the following December 23, Herbert advertised that the 
troupe would return to Fayetteville for six nights only begin- 
ning December 27. The company came to Fayetteville from 
Raleigh, where it had completed a successful three weeks' en- 
gagement on December 19. 5 

In accordance with a long standing custom on the English 
and American stages, an evening's program during the Her- 
bert and Drummond engagement consisted of the main play 
and at least one afterpiece in the form of a farce, with oc- 
casional variety entertainment in the form of music, dancing, 
or recitations between the main play and the farce. The 
Herbert and Drummond company offered in Fayetteville the 
most popular contemporary English comedies and melo- 
dramas, the first advertised titles being Charles Kemble's 
The Point of Honor, or the School for Soldiers, with J. T. 
Allingham's farce Fortunes Frolic, or the Ploughman Turned 
Lord, on May 6. On May 13 and May 20, two popular plays 
by George Coleman the Younger, The Spanish Barber and 
The Heir at Law, were presented as the main plays, and on 
June 3 the anonymous The Forty Thieves, advertised as 
"An Operatical Romance," was the main feature, with David 
Garrick's High Life Below Stairs as the afterpiece. On June 

4 T. Allston Brown, A History of the American Stage (New York: Dick 
and Fitzgerald, 1870), 106, 171. 

5 Donald J. Rulfs, "The Ante-Bellum Professional Theater in Raleigh," 
The North Carolina Historical Review, XXIX (July, 1952), 349. 

The Ante-Bellum Theatre in Fayetteville 127 

10, the program consisted of Garrick's popular Catherine 
and Petruchio, followed by an anonymous ballet entitled 
Little Red Riding Hood, and concluding with Isaac Bicker- 
staff's farce The Sultan, or the American Captive. On June 11, 
the last night of the engagement, James Sheridan Knowles's 
Virginius, or the Liberation of Rome was offered, followed 
by a recitation of William Collins's famous "Ode on the Pas- 
sions" with musical accompaniment. During the return en- 
gagement in December, one play that perhaps had a special 
appeal for a Fayetteville audience was Samuel Woodworth's 
Lafayette, or the Castle of Olmutz, with John O'Keeffe's The 
Poor Soldier as the afterpiece on December 30. 

After the Herbert and Drummond engagements, the 
theater was not rented by another professional company for 
four years. A notice in the Carolina Observer for January 15, 
1829, stated that Shadgett's company of performers had al- 
ready arrived from Raleigh and would open "the old Theatre 
under Masonic Hall," adding that "... this Company, both in 
private & professional life, are worthy of their [the public's] 
patronage." An advertisement by Shadgett in the same issue 
of the paper stated that the company was "fitting up" the 
old theater and would open on January 17 with a program 
consisting of Mrs. Charles Kemble's The Day After the Wed- 
ding; a recitation, "The Female Volunteers" by a Mrs. Hatch; 
a sailor's hornpipe danced by Pierson; a recitation, "The New- 
castle Apothecary," by Shadgett; and the anonymous farce, 
The Turnpike Gate. Performances were apparently offered 
on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings. 

During the first week of the Shadgett company's engage- 
ment, it was noted that the audiences were small but respect- 
able, although they were ". . . becoming more numerous 
each night of performance . . . The Theatre is very neatly and 
comfortably fitted up." 6 The troupe, moreover, proved popu- 
lar enough to remain for almost three weeks through Feb- 
ruary 5, offering many of the favorite contemporary plays. 
Among these were John Brougham's comedy, Paul Pry, on 
January 23, an anonymous adaptation of Sir Walter Scott's 
The Lady of the Lake on January 28, and Richard L. Sheil's 

6 Carolina Observer, January 22, 1829. 

128 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The Apostate on January 30. With regard to The Lady of the 
Lake, the newspaper account stated that "The arrangement 
of the scenery on a Stage of so small an extent, was well 
adapted to showing off the piece." 7 The play was repeated on 
the last night of the engagement, a benefit performance for 
A. Keyser on February 5. 

During the next year the Fayetteville Thalian Association 
became interested in attracting a limited number of capable 
professional performers to appear in productions with mem- 
bers of the Association supporting the professionals in minor 
roles. On April 15, 1830, a certain Cooper and Blake and his 
wife were advertised in their last appearances in Thomas 
Otway's Venice Preserved and William Dimond's The Lady 
and the Devil under the sponsorship of the Association. 8 Two 
weeks later, on April 29, a Mrs. Preston was advertised in 
her last appearance and benefit performance in John Tobin's 
The Honey Moon, followed by a recitation by Preston and 
the farce, The Turnpike Gate. In connection with the en- 
gagement of the two Prestons, a communication signed 
"Hamlet" appeared in the newspaper: "The neat and beauti- 
ful style in which the Theatre has been repaired, the exer- 
tions of the Association to induce Actors of eminence to per- 
form for the gratification of the Public, and the repeated 
evidence of Mrs. Preston's talents in her profession, call 
loudly for a more liberal display of patronage . . ." 9 The 
appeal for support, however, was apparently ineffective, and 
the Thalian Association waited eleven years before it again 
attempted to sponsor professional performers, as indicated 

In the meantime, a certain Hart, advertised as manager of 
the Charleston, Savannah, and Augusta theaters, opened the 
Fayetteville theater on June 24, 1835, with a company of 
eight, and a notice in the Fayetteville Observer stated that 
the troupe arrived with high recommendations from other 
towns. 10 The company remained for two weeks through 
July 7, offering nightly performances. Titles of plays appear- 

7 Carolina Observer, January 29, 1829. 

8 Carolina Observer, April 15, 1830. 

9 Carolina Observer, April 29, 1830. 

w Fayetteville Observer, June 23, 1835. 

The Ante-Bellum Theatre in Fayetteville 129 

ing in the weekly newspaper advertisements were as follows: 
T. Haynes Bayley's Perfection, or the Maid of Munster, and 
the anonymous farce, The Two Gregories, on June 24; Wil- 
liam Dunlap's The Stranger, and William Macready's The 
Village Lawyer on June 30; and Knowles's William Tell, the 
Swiss Patriot and Richard Butler's The Irish Tutor, as a bene- 
fit performance for one Bailey and wife on July 7. 

After the engagement of Hart's company, the regular of- 
ferings of dramatic productions at the theater were inter- 
rupted for several years by attractions consisting of variety 
entertainment and concert programs. The first two perform- 
ers appearing at the theater were Signor Vivalla, "Celebrated 
Italian Professor of Equilibrium and Plate Dancing," Novem- 
ber 24-26, 1836; and W. J. Ryan, "Magician, Equilibrist, and 
Plate Dancer," February 6-11, 1837. The next attraction, 
however, was presented at the Lafayette Hotel and consisted 
of a brief series of concerts by Madame Derio and Signor 
Pucci, who announced their last evening on January 3, 1838. 
The newspaper referred to them as "these admirable per- 
formers" and recommended them to the public. 11 During 
the next year, Monsieur and Madame Canderbeck offered 
a "Grand Soiree Musicale on the German Harp and Violin" 
at the Masonic Hall on April 18 and 19, 1839. They were 
followed on February 19, 1840, by "The Four Hungarians," 
Rosen, Kaln, Liebenstein, and Reich, who presented a "Grand 
Vocal Concert" at the Masonic Hall. 

The last dramatic company to perform in the theater under 
Masonic Hall during the ante-bellum years was probably the 
best to appear in Fayetteville to that date. On June 2, 1841, 
the Thalian Association advertised that it was sponsoring the 
principal members of the Charleston Theater company for 
one week, May 31-June 5. 12 The group was under the di- 
rection of William Abbott, an English actor, who at the time 
was the successful manager of the Charleston Theater. 13 
The regular Charleston season had closed on May 15, 14 and 

u Fayetteville Observer, January 3, 1838. 
12 Fayetteville Observer, June 2, 1841. 

U W. Stanley Hoole, The Ante-Bellum Charleston Theatre (Tuscaloosa: 
The University of Alabama Press, 1946), 42. 
M Hoole, Ante-Bellum Charleston Theatre, 114. 

130 The North Carolina Historical Review 

a communication to the Fayetteville Observer for June 2 
signed "A" stated that the company had arrived in Fayette- 
ville after an engagement of two weeks in Wilmington. The 
writer who signed himself "A" stated that he had seen the 
group on the opening night in Fayetteville and that they 
\ . . performed not only with great credit to themselves, but 
to the infinite gratification of a highly respectable and in- 
telligent audience." Of the eight members of the group, five 
were regular performers with the excellent Charleston com- 
pany: Abbott, J. M. Weston, Lewellen, Jerry Merryfield, and 
Sarah Hildreth. 15 The only titles of plays advertised were 
those for the evening of June 2: Knowles's The Hunchback, 
and James R. Planche's The Loan of a Lover. 

After the departure of Abbott's company, there were no 
further professional dramatic performances in Fayetteville 
during the remaining ante-bellum years with the exception 
of a brief engagement by a group known as "The Parker 
Family," entertaining in an unidentified building named 
Farmer's Hall in early June, I860. 16 The Thalian Association, 
however, continued to offer occasional amateur productions. 
It is possible that the old Masonic Hall with the theater below 
was demolished shortly before the present Masonic Hall at 
221 Mason Street was erected in 1858. 17 

Although there were no further professional performances 
of plays in Fayetteville during the ante-bellum period, pro- 
fessional entertainment continued in other forms, namely, 
variety shows, concert artists and groups, minstrels, and pan- 
oramas. Beginning in February, 1849, most of the attractions 
were offered in Fayetteville Hall, a public room in the then 
recently opened Fayetteville Hotel. In this connection, it 
should be noted that Fayetteville rapidly increased in popula- 
tion from 2,868 in 1830 to 4,285 in 1840 as the town became 
the marketing and distributing center for a large portion of 
the Piedmont. 18 After 1840, however, the population became 
more or less stabilized, increasing only to 4,790 by 1860, 

^Hoole, Ante-Bellum Charleston Theatre, 112. 
16 Fayetteville Observer, June 4, 1860. 

17 North Carolina, a Guide to the Old North State, Federal Writers' 
Project of the Federal Works Agency (Chapel Hill: The University of 
North Carolina Press, 1939), 201. 

18 Henderson, North Carolina, II, 103-104. 

The Ante-Bellum Theatre in Fayetteville 131 

mainly because the town had been left off the main railroad 
lines of the state. 19 

After the change occurred in the type of professional 
theatrical entertainment offered to Fayetteville audiences, the 
largest number of performances were in the fields of variety 
entertainment and concert music, both of which were almost 
equally popular. The first of the variety entertainments ap- 
peared at the theater on February 13, 1845, when a certain 
Haskell and his wife performed tricks of magic, followed by 
Signor Veronica's "Mechanical Marionettes" on the same 
program. Next, the "Harmonian Bell Ringers" on May 2, 1848, 
advertised their second and last concert, but with no place of 
performance. The first variety offerings in the new Fayette- 
ville Hall were those of the Kilmiste Family with singing and 
dancing on February 13, 1849, followed in the same place 
by "The Great Rhigas, Prince of Equilibrists from Paris," 
and Jerry Merryfield, comic vocalist, on January 28, 1851. 
Within the same year, "Everett the Magician" had two suc- 
cessful engagements on August 5 and 6, and November 28 
and 29 at Fayetteville Hall. On the following January 21 and 
22, "Herr Franz Stoepel's Company of Swiss Bell Ringers" 
drew good audiences, as did "Professor Hale's Lectures and 
Experiments in Electro-Biology," April 29-May 7, 1852. One 
of the largest variety troupes to play in Fayetteville Hall was 
the "Fakir of Siva's Great Southern Ethiopian Opera and 
Ballet Troupe," which offered "Grand Pantomimes, Opera 
Pieces, Solos, Farces, &c., &c." on December 1-3, 1853. During 
the next year, The Woodroffes appeared on March 6-11 in 
a "Grand Exhibition of Fancy and Philosophical Glass Work- 
ing, Spinning, and Blowing." They were followed within 
the same month, on March 14, by A. C. Brand, a ventriloquist. 
The last variety exhibition was given by "The Celebrated 
Boon Children," three in number, who presented readings 
from Shakespeare and other English playwrights, in Fayette- 
ville Hall on March 24-26, 1855. 

One of the most popular of the concert groups was "The 
Orphean Family from the Banks of the Kennebec," who ap- 
peared at Masonic Hall on April 10 and 11, 1845, and on 

19 Johnson, Ante-Bellum North Carolina, 117. 

132 The North Carolina Historical Review 

March 10, 1846. A similar group was "The Washington Har- 
monic Company," which offered a vocal and instrumental 
program at Fayetteville Hall on July 24, 1850. However, 
the most noted figure in the entertainment world to visit ante- 
bellum Fayetteville was Madame Anna Bishop, English 
soprano, who toured both the western and eastern hemi- 
spheres during her career. She appeared at Fayetteville Hall 
on March 27, 1851, in a "Grand Lyric Concert in Costumes/' 
assisted by Signor Novelli, basso, and one Boscha, pianist. 
Signor Novelli returned to Fayetteville on October 3, 1853, 
when he appeared in a "Grand Operatic Concert" with 
Madame Rosalie Durand, soprano; Signor Moretti, violinist; 
and a certain Warden, ballad singer. During the next year, 
another ballad singer, Dempster, was well received at Fay- 
etteville Hall on February 15, 1854. 

Four of the earliest minstrel shows to tour in the South 
appeared in Fayetteville Hall during the 1850's. The Aeolian 
Minstrels played for two nights, February 11-12, 1850, fol- 
lowed by Ned Davis's Olio Minstrels on January 28 and 30, 
1854. During the next year came the Sweeney and Sherman 
Minstrels on October 25, 1855, and a few months later the 
popular Jullien Minstrels played in Fayetteville Hall on 
February 14, 1856. 

One popular type of entertainment which is now obsolete 
was the moving panorama, a continuous picture exhibited 
a part at a time by being unrolled before the audience. The 
first of these exhibitions was "The Grand Colossal Moving 
Panorama of the Hudson River, and Scenes in Virginia," 
which played at Fayetteville Hall for one week beginning 
March 18, 1850. This was followed within a few months, on 
June 12-19, 1850, by Pomarede's "Great Original Panorama of 
the Mississippi River and Indian Life, and Calhoun's Fu- 
neral Procession in Charleston." This exhibition, which was 
advertised as being 1,800 yards in length, 20 was apparently 
too large for Fayetteville Hall since it was shown at Town 
Hall. After it had been open for a week, the Fayetteville 
Observer stated that it was still drawing "crowds of specta- 
tors" and added that "The music is most excellent, well worth 


Fayetteville Observer, June 11, 1850. 

The Ante-Bellum Theatre in Fayetteville 133 

a visit to the Hall of itself, and the lecture very interest- 
ing." 21 During the next year, F. H. Hastings's "Panorama of 
the Mediterranean" also proved popular enough to remain 
for a week at Fayetteville Hall from May 13 through 17, 
1851. The last panorama to appear in Fayetteville during 
the ante-bellum years was "The Moving Mirror of Bunyan 
Tableaux," a presentation of sixty scenes from Pilgrim's 
Progress with life-size figures. It proved to be so popular that 
it remained for eight nights, beginning October 8, 1860, at 
Fayetteville Hall. The Bunyan Panorama was the last pro- 
fessional attraction in Fayetteville before the War between 
the States. 


Fayetteville Observer, June 18, 1850. 



By Marjorie Mendenhall Applewhite 

It has been maintained for some time that sharecropping 
had been developed in the South before the Civil War. 1 But 
the outlines of the system were not very clear. Now, that 
vagueness can to a great extent be cleared up. Evidence, pri- 
marily from North Carolina, reveals many of the features in 
the development of that institution, as well as those in tenan- 
cy, a condition for a long time sharply differentiated from 

The term, cropper, is an old one and has been used with 
various connotations. 2 It is interesting to speculate that the 
peculiar connotation of the term, "sharecropping," may have 
come from the turpentine industry where sharecropping ap- 
pears to have been a customary way of securing labor by 
the 1830's. In the turpentine industry the term, "crop," was 
and may still be a term of measurement. A crop was ten 
thousand boxes or faces into which the spirits ran from scari- 
fied pine trees. In trees a crop was estimated at one time as 
five thousand and later as nine thousand trees. 3 A cropper 
attended a certain number of "crops" on shares. Conditions 
in the industry were not such as to permit cheating. 

One thing that makes this speculation particularly inter- 
esting is that, while supreme court cases reveal sharecropping 
to have been clearly distinguished from tenancy in North 
Carolina before the Civil War, sharecropping does not ap- 
pear to have been as early or as well known in South Carolina. 
Since a mistaken idea that pines below North Carolina would 
not be very productive existed until around 1838, 4 there is 

1 Marjorie Stratford Mendenhall, "The Rise of Southern Tenancy," The 
Yale Review, Autumn, 1937, 110-129. 

2 A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (Oxford, 1893) ;and 
A Dictionary o'f American English (Chicago, 1940). 

3 Donald Fraser Martin, Jr., "The Naval Stores Industry in the United 
States," unpublished M.A. thesis, The University of North Carolina, 1931, 
34n; and Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language 
(Springfield, Mass., 1946). 

4 A. W. Schorger, "The Naval Stores Industry," United States Depart- 
ment of Agriculture, Bulletin 229 (July 28, 1915), 3; and Martin, "The 


Sharecropper and Tenant 135 

room for the hypothesis that the culture trait may have arisen 
in North Carolina and may have spread to other areas. Before 
entertaining that idea, however, one would do well to check 
on the earlier tobacco industry of Virginia and on contem- 
porary agricultural conditions in North Carolina. 

How the above speculation may turn out it is useless to 
predict. What is more to the point is that sharecropping was 
common enough in the naval stores industry and agriculture 
in North Carolina before the Civil War to yield a number of 
revealing state supreme court cases. These show a clear dis- 
tinction between sharecropping— a labor device— and tenancy 
—a more dignified status. This distinction was continued im- 
mediately after the Civil War, but with time the difference 
became less and less. And tenancy, largely through the de- 
velopment of the landlord's lien and a recognition of the land- 
lord's possession of the crop, tended to be reduced toward a 
coalescence with sharecropping by the later 1890's. 

At least two interesting consequences flow from this evi- 
dence: (1) it makes comprehensible the modern tendency 
not to distinguish between the two terms, a tendency which 
obscures much that is of interest and probably beneficial in 
tenancy today; and (2) it promotes the suspicion that the 
Civil War set agriculture back instead of forward. It is a 
truism to the student of history that the nadir of agriculture 
in the United States was reached in the 1890's. As important 
as the Civil War was, can it have been overemphasized in the 
history of agriculture, particularly as an explanation of share- 
cropping? Is this not one of the cases in which "beware the 
simple explanation" is a salutary caution? 

The naval stores cases 5 involved sharing arrangements of 
one-half, one-fourth, and one-fifth for the cropper. However, 
the court invariably made the point that classification of the 
producer as cropper or tenant should be based upon the 

Naval Stores Industry," 14-20, in which the lateness of the development of 
the naval stores industry below North Carolina is attributed to general 
economic conditions in that area. 

5 State v. Jones, 19 North Carolina Reports (1837), 544; State v. Poore, 
Reports (1852), 1; and Denton v. Strickland, 48 North Carolina Reports 
(1855), 61. The term, naval stores, in early usage included staves and 
other products besides tar, pitch, and turpentine. 

136 The North Carolina Historical Review 

nature of the covenant, particularly whether the contract 
was executory or not. 

Indeed this point, as to the contract being executory, was 
made in a case involving an overseer's share of an agricultural 
crop contracted in 1806. Here it was held that the landlord 
must set apart the overseer's share, the contract being ex- 
ecutory until this was done. 6 Later, sharecroppers were often 
likened to overseers working on shares. In Steed v. McRae, 7 
reference is made to an act of 1741, providing that over- 
seers might forfeit the share of the produce by leaving before 
the time mentioned in the agreement. Overseering on shares 
was then long established. And the judges may have borrow- 
ed some of their reasoning on sharecropping from the analogy 
between overseering on shares and sharecropping. Overseers 
and sharecroppers were really laborers of a higher and lower 

What is perhaps the earliest reference to sharecropping 
came in June, 1830, when Justice Thomas Ruffin held that 
the presumption that an occupier was a tenant might be 
weakened by evidence that he paid a rent in part of the 
crop rather than in money. 8 

In an 1837 case involving staves, hinging on the question as 
to whether a producer might be a bailee and, because of this 
analogy, be a tenant in common, Justice Joseph J. Daniel 
gave these interesting views: 

The question for the decision of the court is, was Hardy Jones a 
tenant in common with Jenkins in the staves? Jenkins was the 
sole owner of the land on which the timber trees grew that fur- 
nished the entire materials out of which the staves were manu- 
factured. Hardy Jones did not lease the land, but he agreed with 
Jenkins to go on his land, and there, by himself or servants, to 
labour in making staves, and was to have one half of the staves 
manufactured, instead of cash, in payment of his work and 
labour. If a man builds a vessel, or makes a coat, with the entire 
materials of another, the vessel or coat, when made, belongs 
to the owner of the materials. If a man engages another person 
to come and labour on his farm, as overseer or cropper, and 
stipulates with him that he shall have a share of the crop for his 

8 Wood v. Atkinson, 6 North Carolina Reports (1811), 87. 

7 Steed v. McRae, 18 North Carolina Reports (1836), 435. 

8 Wood v. Atkinson. 

Sharecropper and Tenant 137 

labour and attention, the property in the entire crop is in the 
employer until the share of the overseer, or cropper is separated 
from the general mass ; and then, and not until that act is done, 
does the title to the share vest or become executed in the labour- 
er. Before the separation the labourer's right rests upon an exec- 
utory contract with the employer. Before separation it could not 
be levied on to satisfy the labourer's debts . . . Hardy Jones was 
not, as we think, a tenant in common with Jenkins . . . The slave 
of Jones worked out the staves, and left them at the place where 
he found the timber, and that was on the land of the owner. 
Hardy Jones, while his slave was there at work, may be said 
to have had charge of them, but he was not a bailee. 9 

In a later turpentine case 10 Justice Richmond M. Pearson, 
speaking of the plaintiff producer, held that he was only a 
cultivator of the pine trees, that is a "cropper." In this 1855 
case the justice held that the distinction between a lessee 
and a cropper was fixed by a series of cases. Before the Civil 
War the terms, sharecropper and cropper, were familiarly 
used in connection with agricultural crops, as well as in con- 
nection with turpentine orcharding. 11 The distinction be- 
tween these terms and the term, tenant, remained the same. 
An examination of the pertinent cases, with an effort to item- 
ize the points of differentiation, reveals these facts: 

The tenant: (1) has a lease and possession; (2) if work- 
ing on shares, he divides the produce when the crop is made 
and pays rent; (3) probably has greater variation in con- 
tract—in one case the tenant was held to have a right to the 
manure produced on his farm, 12 and in another the fact that 
the landlord furnished a horse was not held to make the pro- 
ducer a cropper but only to give the landlord a larger share of 
rent; 13 and (4) has as good a position as the landlord where 
liens are involved. 14 

9 State v. Jones. 

u Denton v. Strickland. 

n Hare v. Pearson, 26 North Carolina Reports (1843), 77; Ross v. 
Swaringer, 31 North Carolina Reports (1849), 481; McNeely v. Hart, 32 
North Carolina Reports (1849), 63; Brazier v. Ausley, 33 North Carolina 
Reports (1850), 12, 

u Smithwick v. Ellison, 24 North Carolina Reports (1842), 326. 

18 Hatchell v. Kimbro, 49 North Carolina Reports (1856), 163. 

14 Deaver v. Rice, 20 North Carolina Reports (1839), 567. See also State 
v. Poore, and Hare v. Pearson. By Act of 1844 a growing crop was not to 
be levied on. See Clark's note at the end of State v. Poore in the edition of 
cases edited by Walter Clark. 

138 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The sharecropper: (1) has no lease— only an understand- 
ing, a contract, or an agreement as to wages; he is a laborer, 
even a servant; (2) has his crop divided and contract ex- 
ecuted by the landlord; (3) when not so designated yet 
furnished provisions or a horse by the landlord, becomes by 
implication a cropper— indeed, as has been pointed out, a 
share arrangement in itself tended to create the idea that 
sharecropping was involved; and (4) presumably works un- 
der the shadow of the landlord's favored position in regard 
to crop liens. 

The Civil War period apparently found these two cropping 
institutions, tenancy and sharecropping, with the balance 
in sharecropping, but not in tenancy, tending to favor the 
landlord's lien. After that war, the general evolution of the 
two hinged first on this question of lien and then on posses- 
sion. The result was that in these pivotal issues, more by 
statute than by judicial construction, the landlord won the 
favored position in both instances. Thus were the major dis- 
tinctions between the tenant and sharecropper obliterated. 
Hard times, ignorance, and poor methods played their parts. 
But this development more accurately measures the decline 
of agriculture, and explains the modern tendency of referring 
to the two terms, tenant and sharecropper, synonymously. 
A review of the more important cases may make this clear. 

The case of Lewis v. Wilkins, heard in January, 1868, 15 
throws much light on conditions at that time. According to 
Chief Justice Pearson, shares were referred to as "black rent" 
and silver as "white rent." The case involved a two year agri- 
cultural partnership, and arose over settlement of a question 
in an inheritance situation. The court carefully pointed out 
that the operating partner was not merely an overseer, and 
that he was on a higher plane than a sharecropper. The Chief 
Justice said that an arrangement had been made prior to his 
death by Wilkins, the landowner, "to enable him the more 
conveniently to carry on his farm after his slaves were set 
free . . . we have discussed it somewhat fully because we are 
aware that in the present condition of the country, contracts 

15 Lewis vs. Wilkins, 62 North Carolina Reports (1868), 303. 

Sharecropper and Tenant 139 

to carry on farming operations in a way similar to this are 
very generally resorted to, [author's italics] and, to prevent 
litigation, it is well to point out wherein they are plainly dis- 
tinguishable from leases and terms for years." 

This sort of partnership arrangement, however, did not 
become pervasive, while sharecropping did. In an 1869 case 16 
involving a sharecropper and a "bargain," in which the land- 
lord, prior to crop division was to get a portion of the wheat 
crop for the guano and the seed he furnished, legislation pass- 
ed in 1866-1867 came into question. The official in the lower 
court had held that the defendant landlord-employer was 
guilty because he had not complied with the requirements 
of the new legislation, entitled "An act to protect landlords 
from insolvent debtors." In refusing to agree Justice Settle 
ruled "This act does not take away any rights that the land- 
lord had before, but it gives others; and it would be strange 
if we were to construe a remedial act to protect landlords, 
so as to diminish their remedies, and leave them in a worse 
condition than they were before its passage." It was to be 
some time before this position was consolidated. A consider- 
able amount of additional legislation came under considera- 
tion. The story of what happened evolves from the cases. 

In an 1870 case 17 involving a one-fourth contract for cot- 
ton, Justice William B. Rodman, who was classified by some 
as a scalawag and by others as a man of great learning cap- 
able of rapid and wise adjustment in a difficult time, clarified 
the distinction between a tenant and a cropper although he 
did not use the word cropper: 

It has been often decided that where a tenant agrees to pay a 
certain part of the crop as rent, the property of the whole crop 
is in him until the decision. The principle is the same when the 
landlord is to pay a certain part of the crop to a laborer for his 
wages; in such case the property in the crop is with the land- 
lord until a decision. In whom the property remains until the 
separation depends in all cases upon the agreement; it is not 
a rule of law, it is simply a question of interpretation of a 

State v. Burwell, 63 North Carolina Reports (1869), 661. 
Wolston v. Bryan, 64 North Carolina Reports (1870), 764. 

140 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The more important case of Harrison v. Ricks 18 in 1874, 
gave Justice Rodman the opportunity to review the trend of 
judicial opinion, to summarize the guiding rules for the 
question of intent, and to construe a new statute narrowly 
with a result favorable to the producer, (described here as 
a sort of hybrid tenant-cropper). The interesting material 
warrants a somewhat extended quotation. After making 
the old distinctions between a tenant and a cropper, Justice 
Rodman continued on the subject of the tenant: 

The landlord has no lien on the crop for rent, whether such 
lien be stipulated for or not; although if such lien be given by 
agreement it is, as will be seen, strong evidence that the occupier 
is not a tenant but a cropper. 

A cropper has no estate in the land ; that remains in the land- 
lord. Consequently, although he has, in some sense, the possession 
of the crop, it is only the possession of a servant, and is in the 
law that of the landlord. The landlord must divide off to the 
cropper his share. In short he is a laborer receiving pay in a 
share of the crop. 

Which of these characters an occupier bears depends entirely 
on the agreement between the parties. 

It is a qustion of interpretation, and the intent, when ascer- 
tained, must govern, as in other contracts. 

Some rules may be deduced from the cases which may serve 
to guide us as to the intent. 

1. If the contract clearly conveys the land to a lessee for a 
term, in the absence of some contrary or controlling provision, 
the lessee is a tenant. But generally, when the contract is oral 
or inartificially drawn, it is left doubtful whether an estate in 
the land was intended to pass. In such case the intent one way 
or the other must be inferred from the other provisions of the 
agreement. The use of the word "rent" as that the owner has 
"rented" his land to another, has by itself but little weight in the 
interpretation of an oral or inartificially and obscurely written 

2. If the occupier is to pay a money rent, the title to the crops 
must necessarily be in him in order that he may convert it into 
money. He is therefore strictly a tenant. 

3. If the occupier is to pay the landlord a share of the crop 
as rent, the property in the whole must be in him in order that 
he may make the division, and he is a tenant. This interpretation 
may, however, be controlled by other provisions ; as, for example, 


Harrison v. Ricks, 71 North Carolina Reports (1874), 7. 

Sharecropper and Tenant 141 

by a positive agreement that the property in the whole must be 
in him in order that he may make the division, and he is a tenant. 
This interpreation may, however, be controlled by other provi- 
sions ; as, for example, by a positive agreement that the property 
in the whole shall be in the landlord, either that he may make the 
division or that he may be secured by a lien. The stipulation for 
a lien must be either void, or it must make the occupier a cropper 
as it was held to do in State v. Burrell, 64 N. C. 661. [This should 
be State v. Burwell, 63 North Carolina Reports, 661] . 

4. If the landlord is to divide to the occupier his share, prop- 
erty in the whole must be in the landlord, and the occupier is only 
a cropper. Denton v. Strickland, 48 N. C. 61. 

It would be an unnecessary waste of time to review in detail 
the cases from which these rules are drawn. They are singularly 
uniform and are all cited in the briefs of counsel. 

. . . [The occupier in this case was declared to be a tenant.] 

The question then occurs, were the rights of the defendant (the 
landlord) affected to his advantage by any statute? The act for 
the better security of landlords (1866-'67, Chap. 47) is omitted 
from Battle's Revisal, no doubt because the learned reviser 
thought it repealed by the act of 1868-'69, chap. 64. In this we 
concur with him. We turn then, to the act. 

Sec. 12 gives to the landlord who leases land for a share of 
the crop, or for that and the performance of other stipulations 
as rent, a lien on the crop for such share, and for any damages 
for the breach of such stipulations. As between the occupier and 
third persons, he may be regarded as a tenant having an estate 
in the land for the term, but as between him and the landlord 
he is only a cropper. But by this section the contract to have that 
effect must be in writing. [Italics added.] 

Section 13 gives to the landlord who leases for a money rent a 
lien on the crop whether the contract of lease be in writing or 
not . . . 

Section 14 is not contradictory of the previous ones. It does 
not alter the right of lien given by them. It makes it penal in a 
tenant to remove the crop when he has no right to do so. 

As the agreement with Moss was not in writing the defendant 
cannot claim a lien under Sec. 12. 

The property in the whole crop was therefore in Moss until he 
made a division, and he had a right to convey it to the plaintiffs, 
subject to the right of the landlord to his share as rent. (Act 
1866-'67, Chap. 1). 

Note that this man, having an estate in the land for a 
term, as between him and the landlord, is said to be only a 

142 The North Carolina Historical Review 

cropper. But note also that Justice Rodman held that the 
statute required that the agreement must be in writing. 

Judicial comments at different dates during this time will 
reveal typical difficulties and the changing nature of the 
judicial task in this area. 

In December 1855, Justice Pearson remarked: "As there 
is so much difference between a lease, and a contract to work 
for a share of the crop, in the legal consequences and rights 
conferred, it is singular that the parties to contracts do not 
express their intentions more clearly than is usually done in 
such instruments under consideration." 19 

In 1875, Justice Edwin G. Reade, in construing sections 
13 and 15 of chapter 64 of the 1868-1869 act ( Battle's Re- 
visal) in which the civil offense is stated differently from the 
indictment, commented, "It is to be regretted that a statute 
which is to operate upon the most illiterate and dependent, 
and to govern labor, should not be so plain as to be easily 
understood by all." 20 

Again in 1875, Chief Justice Pearson was saying, "The 
dividing line between tenant and cropper is indistinct, and 
in many cases, hard to run." 21 

Two cases, one in 1874 and the other in 1875, reveal the 
insecurity of the cropper's economic position. In Hudgins v. 
Wood 22 it was stated that "the croppers had interests which 
they could and did assign, but the value of those interests 
could be ascertained only after deducting the lawful charge 
of the defendant; and it seems that after this deduction noth- 
ing is left." [Italics added.] 

In Neal v. Bellamy 23 Chief Justice Pearson summarized 
some of the facts thusly 

Taylor, as a cropper, had no right to any part of the crop until 
it was delivered to him by Neal, after deducting rent, etc. ; yet 
Taylor was obliged to have something to live on while he was 
working for Neal. [Italics added.] So the understanding between 
Neal, Taylor, and Odom and Co. was exactly what might have 

19 Denton v. Strickland. 

20 Varner v. Spencer, 72 North Carolina Reports (1875), 381. 

21 Neal v. Bellamy, 73 North Carolina Reports (1875), 384. 

22 Hudgins v. Wood, 72 North Carolina Reports (1875), 256, at 259. 

23 Neal v. Bellamy, 73 N. C. 384. 

Sharecropper and Tenant 143 

been expected under the circumstances . . . and there was no 
more use for it to be in writing than for any other verbal 
arrangement which the interest and convenience of parties in- 
duce them to make without taking the trouble to draw writings. 

One suspects in many of these cases that the real question 
was which one was to have short rations. A system which by 
its nature encouraged production of staples at a time when 
the trend of prices was downward was bound to mine and 
erode the land and to play a part in the "erosion" of human 

The struggle to determine "mine and thine" under these 
arrangements was not to be left in statutory uncertainty, 
though it took some time to resolve it in a way that stuck. 

Sections 13, 14, and 15 of the Battle's Revisal landlord act 
were amended and others substituted in their place by an 
Act of the General Assembly, ratified March 19, 1875. Laws 
1874-1875, Chap. 509. And subsequently another act was 
passed which was ratified and took effect March 12, 1877, 
Laws 1876-1877, chap 283. The latter act, after express repeal 
of the ambiguous and unsatisfactory sections, made the re- 
moval of the crop or any part of it from the land on which 
it was grown, without payment of rent, without the lessor's 
consent, and without his having five days notice of the in- 
tended removal, a misdemeanor. 24 

Commenting on this, Justice John H. Dillard said, 

And the rights of the defendant and the liability of the crops 
were precisely the same in this respect, under the Act of 1876-'77, 
as under the act in Battle's Revisal, chap. 64, sec. 13, except that 
rent agreed to be paid verbally tvas put on the same footing with 
a written agreement. [Italics added.] 

The only alteration, with the exception aforesaid, effected by 
the last act was in the remedy. That act provided a remedy for 
the lessee, in case the lessor takes possession of the crops, to get 
back his portion of the same ; and in case of controversy as to the 
claim of rent and the amount thereof, it provides the mode and 
form in which that matter may be determined, with a provision 
for an order of seizure of the crops during the litigation in case 
neither of the parties gives bond conditioned for the forthcoming 
of the same at the end of the proceeding." 25 

24 State v. Long, 78 North Carolina Reports (1878), 571. 

23 Durham v. Speeke, 82 North Carolina Reports (1880), 87. 

144 The North Carolina Historical Review 

In February, 1882, a case in which a cropper had detained 
some of the cotton he was supposed to take to a gin prior to 
division, came up to the Supreme Court on question of error. 26 
The cropper had been charged with larceny. Justice Thomas 
S. Ashe, in the opinion of the court, noted the new remedy 
by action of claim and delivery, but went on to say of the 

While the first section of the act declares that the lessor shall be 
deemed to be in possession of the crop, it at the same time, in the 
second section, recognizes the actual possession in the lessee or 
cropper, until the division, or surrender of the same to the 
lessor, under the terms of an agreement. The lessor has no right 
under the act, when there is no agreement to that effect, to take 
the actual possession from the lessee or cropper, and can never 
do so except when he obtains the same by an action of claim and 
delivery, upon the removal of the crop by the lessee or cropper. 

After further explanation Ashe went on to say, "Notwith- 
standing the provisions of the first section, the whole tenor 
of the act contemplates the right of the lessee or cropper to 
hold the actual possession, until such time as a division shall 
be made." Then followed, to the lay mind, this amazing 
question, "when the lessee or cropper is thus authorized to 
hold the actual possession of the crop against the lessor, can 
it be that he is liable to an indictment for larceny for secretly 
appropriating the crop or any part thereof to his own use, 
even if done with felonious intent?" And this the possession 
of a servant! 

Not until 1898 did a case come up involving similar mat- 
ters. 27 However, in that year, Justice Walter Clark, noting 
that the remedy by action of claim and delivery was an ad- 
ditional one, commented on the same statute, now in the 
code. After stating that against the cropper the landlord al- 
ways has a right to have possession of the crop, the justice 
made this statement: 

But it has now become immaterial whether the producer is a 
cropper or a tenant under the Code Sec. 1754, which provides 
that any and all crops raised on land, "whether by a tenant or a 

26 State v. Copeland, 86 North Carolina Reports (1882), 692. 

27 State v. Austin, 123 North Carolina Reports (1898), 749. 

Sharecropper and Tenant 145 

cropper (in the absence of an agreement to the contrary), shall 
be deemed and held to be vested in possession of the landlord 
or his assigns at all times until the rent for said land shall be 
paid to the lessor or his assigns, and until said party or his as- 
signs shall be paid for all advances made and expenses incurred 
in making and saving said crop." 

The words, "But it has now become immaterial whether 
the producer is a cropper or tenant . . ." indicate the virtual 
coalescence of the terms, sharecropper and tenant. There has 
been some clarification of the doctrine since 1898, but vir- 
tually no change. The landlord still has a preferred lien. He 
is a trustee in possession until the advances are paid. 28 

We have seen ( 1 ) that supreme court cases in North Caro- 
lina show that sharecropping was well known in North 
Carolina two decades before the Civil War in both the naval 
stores industry and agriculture, and that sharecropping may 
have spread to other states; (2) that the two arrangements, 
sharecropping and tenancy, were clearly differentiated in 
the state courts before the Civil War; and (3) that after the 
Civil War, more by statutory action than by judicial opinion, 
there was a virtual coalescence of the two in the vital areas 
of liens and possession in the status of sharecropping. Finally, 
as to the significance of the latter, three findings become ap- 

(1) There is a close correlation between this movement 
and the struggle for home rule in the state, but this correla- 
tion except in the first few postwar years is, to a great extent, 
fortuitous and deceptive. The courts were involved in the 
struggle— the superior courts, however, more than the su- 
preme courts. 29 Probably the ablest of the superior court jus- 
tices, Albion W. Tourgee, in his biographical Fool's Errand, 
explaining his leaving the state, made the revealing remark 
that "they" did not require him to leave, only to stop selling 
horses to Negroes and letting them crop on shares: 


28 Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association v. S. S. Bissett, 187 North 
Carolina Reports (1924), 180; J. A. Adams and C, B. Adams v. Growers 1 
Warehouse, Inc. and Dixie Growers Warehouse, Inc., 230 North Carolina 
Reports (1949), 704. The latter case is a little stronger for the landlord. 

29 J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, History of North Carolina, III, North Caro- 
lina Since 1860 (Chicago, 1919), 133. 

80 Albion W. Tourgee, FooVs Errand, xviii, 91. 

146 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Concerning the role of the supreme court in reconstruction 
J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton thought the supreme court more 
deeply involved in politics than did Francis D. Winston or 
Kemp P. Battle. 31 The latter characterized the action of the 
court then as, in the main, conservative and wise. Within the 
court, eight year terms prevented a close correlation with 
party victory at the polls, and in the early years of recon- 
struction may have offered some opportunities for stalling. 
Yet there is some significance in the facts that only in 1876 
was there a clear shift from one party to another, and that 
otherwise the judges usually retained their offices till death 
or resignation. Even in 1868, Chief Justice Pearson and Jus- 
tice Reade were nominated by both parties and elected with- 
out opposition (there were only three other justices). 32 

It is easy to overdo the point of "politics." Of course it may 
have been politically expedient for those justices who were 
lukewarm toward home rule to construe strictly the then 
new laws for the protection of the landlord. Deeper social 
viewpoints were probably as compelling. In this connection 
it is well to remember that Rodman, an able judge, and 
Tourgee had much to do with the new code of civil pro- 
cedure, later recognized generally as a great improvement. 33 

(2) The delay of certain judges in accepting the popular 
edict in the statutes was probably prompted by two other 
considerations— a reluctance to part with distinctions and, 
for want of a better word, humanitarianism. 

The nature of the judicial task is such that distinctions 
are really necessary in drawing the fine line of decision in 
many cases. Here we may have the reluctance of a worker 
to part with his tools. 

The unusual interpretation of the law by Justice Thomas 
S. Ashe was not the strict construction of a carpetbagger or 
scalawag. Ashe's political career was notable. Forlorn hope 
of the Conservatives in the gubernatorial race in 1868 and 
participator in the devising of the electoral commission in 

31 Hamilton, North Carolina Since 1860, 133; Kemp P. Battle, "Address on 
the History of the Supreme Court" (Raleigh, 1889), 52; and "Judge 
Winston Traces Century of Law in the State," News and Observer (Ra- 
leigh), January 5, 1919. 

32 Hamilton, North Carolina Since I860, 110. 
33 116 North Carolina Reports, 1075-1084y 2 . 

Sharecropper and Tenant 1.47 

the disputed election of 1876, he was universally regarded 
as the exemplification of the best in manhood that the state 
had to offer. Chivalrous and kindly, he belongs with those 
judges who construe criminal laws strictly for conscience 
sake. 34 Probably, great judges are the result of a long ap- 
prenticeship to the craft plus transcendent abilities. Justice 
Ashe had not had the apprenticeship and he was an over- 
worked member of the then three judge court. In State v. 
Copeland he missed the opportunity to say that the landlord 
had exercised his right of possession, had regained his pos- 
session of the part hidden, and had reprimanded the cropper 
for a misuse of a servant's possession. There was no reason 
for the court to intervene; here was absenteeism. Close asso- 
ciation between landlord and "tenant" is still the best pro- 
tection against larceny. Chief Justice Walter Clark reversed 
a good part of the opinion of Justice Ashe, but probably not 
the decision. The compelling nature of the legislature's ac- 
tion probably meant less to Justice Ashe than to Chief Justice 

In leaving the court we may say that it served its genera- 
tion well in preserving continuity. Its work from the craft 
angle does not compare, however, with that of the great ante- 
bellum court of Ruffin, Daniels, and Gaston. 

( 3 ) The degradation of tenancy toward sharecropping, here 
measured rather than made in the courts, intensified the mis- 
use of the land and registered a collapse of the ladder of op- 
portunity in agriculture. 

At the time under survey a mass of dependent, relatively 
unsocialized laborers was injected into agriculture, while 
many of the more capable directors were leaving it. After 
the Civil War, to the unknown number of white sharecrop- 
pers were added successively the greater mass of the Negroes, 
who largely became sharecroppers, and a little later a large 
number of small white farmers who, in the stress of the times, 
took refuge in sharecropping and tenancy. Vastly different in 
some respects, both of these groups were made up of poor 

Si See 96 N. C. 393-397; Samuel A. Ashe, Biographical History of North 
Carolina, VIII (Greensboro, 1917), 37-48; and Walter Clark, "The Supreme 
Court of North Carolina," The Green Bag, October, 1892, 584. State v. 
Copeland is here conspicuously absent from the list of Ashe's notable cases. 

148 The North Carolina Historical Review 

agriculturists. The issue in the courts, if it began as a racial 
one could hardly have remained so, although political align- 
ments of the 1890's did bring the race issue to the fore again. 

What was happening to the Negro sharecroppers is reveal- 
ed in two reports. The first was a report of the Commissioner 
of Agriculture. 35 Correspondents from 76 counties by 1877 
had answered the commissioner's question as to whether the 
freedmen as farmers were improving their conditions. Broken 
down, the results showed: 2, no perceptible improvement; 
15, slight improvement; and 59, not improving. On the next 
question their record was not so good. Answers to the ques- 
tion, "Do lands under the management of freedmen improve 
or deteriorate?" showed: 1, they improve; 4, no material 
change; 71, they deteriorate. The same answer would prob- 
ably have come had "tenants and sharecroppers" been used 
instead of "freedmen." The second report was made by 
Governor Thomas J. Jarvis in 1883, as ex officio chairman of 
the Board of Agriculture: "The colored laborers as a class 
have by their industry and their fidelity to their contracts 
proven their right to the respect of all who respect labor and 
the moral qualities almost always associated with it." 36 

It was inevitable that some sort of social organization 
would evolve in this period. The statutes and the cases were 
only one part of that development. The whole system left 
the ignorant ignorantly farming with the urgent purpose of 
getting from the land all that they could. This became a 
force tending toward the despoliation of the land, a problem 
faced successfully only recently by federal-state action. 

Perhaps the most significant aspect of the whole story was 
the tendency for the agricultural "ladder" to collapse. Within 
the period herein reviewed many rural white people migrated 
to towns and cotton mills and attempted to scale another 
"ladder." Fortunately for agriculture, successive measures, 
largely of federal inspiration, have resulted in the propping 
up and the reinforcement of the "ladder" of opportunity in 
agriculture. Rupert B. Vance noted in 1945 that there was a 

35 "Third Quarterly Report of L. L. Polk to the Board of Agriculture, 
Immigration and Statistics," January 15, 1878 (Raleigh, 1877), 21-22. 

88 "Report of the Board of Agriculture," Session 1883, Document No. 18, 

Sharecropper and Tenant 149 

much greater differentiation of tenancy types, and that much 
less is known of the higher groups than of the lower. 37 

The farmers of North Carolina by a self-imposed tax on 
fertilizers and feeds have set in motion a program for agri- 
cultural research, described by President Gordon Gray of 
The University of North Carolina as one of the bright and 
hopeful things in the current scene. It can be hoped that this 
program will consider the study of tenancy and sharecropping 
today, thus resuming a deflected item in the farmers' pro- 
gram of the 1870's and 1880's. The latter program had disap- 
pointing results because, among other things, it was too am- 
bitious, and also because at that time there were internal and 
legislative shake-ups in the State Department of Agriculture. 
Charles S. Mangum notes that litigation has been reduced in 
Alabama where title is in the producer. 38 But is reduction of 
litigation the only or even the paramount consideration? 
Certainly the question can be raised: has not the time come 
when it will be wise to repeal the portions of the statutes 
that obliterate the main distinctions between sharecropper 
and tenant? The distinctions were useful. They may be ap- 
propriate and useful again. 

37 Rupert B. Vance, in collaboration with Nadia Danilevsky, All These 
People (Chapel Hill, 1945), 215. 

38 Charles S. Mangum, The Legal Status of the Tenant Farmer in the 
Southeast (Chapel Hill, 1952), ch. II. 


By Charles W. Turner 

The sixteen Virginia railroad companies 1 in operation at 
the outset of the Civil War served the Confederacy well. As 
the war progressed, many miles of their track lay directly 
in the battle zones. Each of them suffered from losses of 
rolling stock, destruction of track, financial difficulties, in- 
adequate labor forces, and general war uncertainties. In 
spite of these troubles many of the companies remained in 
operation, sending their engines over rusty shortened tracks, 
never knowing whether the treasurer would be able to pay 
the cost or not. With coming of peace, the companies were 
faced with a new set of problems, namely, the securing of 
the roads from the War Department, payment of accumulat- 
ed debts, securing new capital, rebuilding, expansion, and, 
finally, providing service as rapidly as possible to a land ill 
able to pay for it. To the farsighted the "3 R's" of business 
appeared— Reconstruction, Recovery, and Reform. For these, 
new sources of revenue would have to be tapped, a favorable 
General Assembly elected, and able railroad personnel select- 
ed, willing to gamble on the rise of a new South from the war 

The Virginia Central Railroad Company, with tracks run- 
ning west across the state from Richmond to Clifton Forge, 
has been chosen to show how a typical line met these prob- 
lems. The company which was to become the modern Chesa- 
peake and Ohio Railroad, was one of the oldest, and had 
played an important part in the late war. On April 19, 1865, 
General Edward O. C. Ord, commander of the military dis- 
trict, gave the company permission to repair the tracks and 
run the trains; 2 and eight years later the year 1873 marked 

1 The Winchester and Potomac; The Virginia and Tennessee; The Alex- 
andria, Loudoun and Hampshire; The Baltimore and Ohio; The Norfolk 
and Petersburg; The Orange and Alexandria; The Portsmouth, and Roa- 
noke; Richmond and Petersburg; The Richmond and Danville; The Rich- 
mond, Fredericksburg and Potomac; The Virginia Central; The Southside; 
Seaboard and Roanoke; Manassas Gap; The York River; The Petersburg 
and Roanoke. 

2 Richmond Times, July 30, 1866. 


Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad 1865-1873 151 

the completion of its line to the Ohio. It was then that the 
state began to realize returns from the railroad— benefits she 
had intended receiving from the completed James River and 
Kanawha Canal— benefits accruing from binding the east 
coast with the Ohio, and points west. 

With one hundred dollars in gold in the treasury, the com- 
pany bravely set to work procuring cross ties, laying track, 
and building bridges on the eastern section. Fifteen days after 
the Confederate surrender, the trains were running forty 
miles west of Richmond to Bumpass, and thirty days later 
to the Rivanna River. Meanwhile, the repairs from Staunton 
eastward had begun, and a train soon puffed between Staun- 
ton and Medium's River. The two sections were connected 
by a tri-weekly stage line run by C. R. Mason, thus enabling 
the line to assure through service and the company to keep 
in closer touch with the forces engaged in making repairs 
on the western end. 3 The first revenues were applied to the 
purchase of new rails which were laid by November, 1865. 
Contracts were made with private parties to rebuild the 
depots along the route, 4 and in the spring of 1866 the line 
announced daily service over the entire stretch of its ante- 
bellum right-of-way, 204 miles in length. 5 Problems of fi- 
nance, extension, personnel, service, state and out-of-state 
controls faced by the Virginia Central during the Reconstruc- 
tion period will be dealt with in order. 


The capital of the company at the close of the war amount- 
ed to $3,400,000 with a funded debt of $1,632,801 and a 
floating debt of $247,830. 6 The treasurer had no money to 
pay the current expenses, company officials, or the stock- 
holders. When a proposal was made to fund the interest, the 
Richmond Dispatch declared "the company due to the heavy 
losses during the war owing to the condition of the country 
is unable to pay the accrued and accruing debt due on its 

3 Superintendent's Report in C. and 0. Office, Richmond, Virginia, dated 
October 1, 1865. 

* Richmond Times, November 22, 1865. 

6 Richmond Times, April 23, 1866. 

6 Manuscript found in box labelled "Va. Central Railroad" in Virginia 
State Library, Richmond. 


152 The North Carolina Historical Review 

bonds and proposes to fund this interest until January, 1867. 
The company merits this consideration." 7 This was permitted 
when the state legislature allowed the railroad to issue 
$300,000 worth of bonds at 8 per cent to be redeemed in ten 
years. 8 Other funds were needed to complete the White Sul- 
phur extension, to purchase from the state the Blue Ridge 
line and the partly completed Covington and Ohio line. 9 
Commissioners of Virginia and West Virginia had met in the 
spring of 1866 in Baltimore to dispose of the properties of the 
latter. The Virginia Central was one of several railroad com- 
panies bidding for the extension. 10 In order to find additional 
means, the company now impanelled a commission to visit 
Europe to raise funds, 11 and these commissioners soon re- 
ported to the company that the foreign sale of stock looked 
encouraging. 12 With some assurances of funds, in November 
the stockholders favored the purchase of the state interests. 13 
Since investment in slaves was no longer possible, invest- 
ment in railroad stock was urged by the editor of the Rich- 
mond Dispatch, 14 while the Richmond Enquirer supported 
the passage of a relief law, allowing them to borrow at higher 
rates of interest. 15 The General Assembly allowed a $3,500,000 
increase in the Virginia Central's capital stock for the Ohio 
extension, and agreed to permit the company to accept land, 
including Richmond lots, 16 in payment of stock. H. D. Whit- 
comb, engineer for the Virginia Central, declared that, if the 
Ohio could be reached, the net revenue from this section 
would pay the interest on the increased debt incurred. 17 He 

7 Richmond Dispatch, May 28, 1866. 

8 Report of the Board of Public Works to the General Assembly Of Vir- 
ginia, 1866, 94. 

9 The Covington and Ohio Railroad had been chartered by the state just 
prior to the outbreak of hostilities, and the state had undertaken to 
conduct surveys, secure the right-of-way, and contract for the grading. 

10 Richmond Dispatch, May 7, 1866. 

11 Board of Public Works Report, 1866, 94. 

12 Richmond Dispatch, October 4, 1866. 

13 The debt of the company included the following items : 

Mortgage $1,394,063 

Bonds 122,801 

Floating debt 245,712 

Richmond Dispatch, November 23, 1866. $1,762,576 

14 Richmond Dispatch, January 25, 1867. 

15 Richmond Enquirer, January 25, 1867. 

16 Richmond Whig, January 16, 1868. 

17 Richmond Dispatch, May 7, 1867. 

Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad 1865-1873 153 

felt $6,000,000 should be borrowed at as high a rate as 8 per 
cent interest, and that such could be raised on a $14,000,000 
investment. 18 The stockholders in a Richmond meeting pass- 
ed a resolution to raise the required capital, and a committee 
of 15 men was selected to study the best methods to use 
in order to raise the preferred stock of $3,000,000. To 
arouse the enthusiasm of the members present, President 
Edmund Fontaine read a letter from James G. Paxton of 
Rockbridge County, who had been in Cincinnati raising 
funds. Paxton quoted H. C. Lord of that city, saying in part, 
"The value of your road to the west in affording a still cheaper 
outlet for its products to the seaboard can hardly be esti- 
mated, and I doubt not our people will cooperate with this 
state and the people of Virginia in securing the early con- 
struction of this important channel of commerce." 19 The 
Committee of 15 held a meeting, opposed the issuance of 
$3,000,000 in preferred stock as suggested in the stockholders 
meeting, and presented a series of proposals in its place. 20 
These were included in an open letter published by President 
Fontaine stating "The compromise contains mutual conces- 
sions; it contemplates that funds raised in the west shall be 
expended to get the road in operation at the east end; it 
then allows the property of the east end to be mortgaged for 
the completion of the west end." 21 

The stockholders accepted the compromise, and plans were 
made by the Board of Directors to make a big drive to secure 
funds from the counties, cities and local citizens. The state 
could not be counted on to help financially at this time. De- 
tails of the plans for raising the new capital stock were given 
as follows: 

A leading citizen should be chosen as agent in the counties and 
the cities concerned to raise a $5,000,000 cash subscription for 
which 8% preferred dividends are promised; assistant agents 
should be appointed to sell stock to be paid for in land along 
the line of the company valued in terms of 1860 land prices ; five 
or more commissioners for counties and towns were to be chosen 

18 Richmond Whig, June 3, 1867. 
"Richmond Times, May 23, 1867. 

20 Richmond Times, May 24, 1867. 

21 Richmond Dispatch, June 3, 1867. 

154 The North Carolina Historical Review 

to secure large subscriptions of corporations. These commission- 
ers were to have additional power to settle any land damages 
claims arising out of the above ; public meetings are to be called 
by the president to incite public interest and a list of commis- 
sioners appointed was included. 22 

To do what it could, the legislature passed acts endorsing the 
compromise proposals and permitting the completion of the 
line to the Ohio. It was to be called the Chesapeake and Ohio. 
West Virginia passed similar legislation, 23 with its commis- 
sioners urging the promotion of the road from Covington to 
the Ohio, and listing the many advantages accruing there- 
from. 24 Richmond voters expressed their stand favoring a 
$2,000,000 subscription by the city itself. 25 Others sub- 
scribed with the request that the building begin from the 
Ohio end first, an idea the engineers felt unwise. 26 By August, 
1867, with much evidence of enthusiasm, $2,000,000 had 
been subscribed— the largest subscriptions coming from 
the counties. 27 One county, Fluvanna, which was not trav- 
ersed by the railroad, subscribed $150,000. 28 So much interest 
was shown in certain counties that other railroads found it 
hard to secure stock. 29 

In July, 1867, a railroad conference met at White Sulphur 
Springs with James Burley of Marshall County as chairman 
and A. E. Dickinson, editor of the Religious Herald, as secre- 
tary. Addressing this meeting, Governor Francis Pierpont 
urged the completion of the line. 30 The body voted in favor 
of requesting federal aid for the extension, since this line 
would be as important as any land grant railroad in the 
west. 31 When the meeting adjourned, Edmund Fontaine went 

22 Minutes [1867] of the Board of Directors, found in Chesapeake and 
Ohio office, Richmond. 

23 Richmond Dispatch, June 5, 1867. 

24 Richmond Dispatch, June 7, 1867. 

25 Daily State Journal (Richmond), June 15, 1869; Richmond Times, 
June 10, 1867 ; Richmond Dispatch, January 2, 1868. 

26 Richmond Dispatch, August 23, 1867. 

27 Richmond Whig, August 29, 1867; Southern Opinion, September 7, 1867. 

28 Boone, Putnam, Cabell, Wayne, Logan, Lincoln counties of West Vir- 
ginia, $1,700,000; Virginia counties, $900,000; Richmond, $2,000,000; cities 
outside Virginia, $1,000,000; total, $5,600,000. Richmond Dispatch, Sep- 
tember 7, 1867. 

29 Richmond Whig, June 4, September 28, 1867; Richmond Dispatch, 
October 10, 1867, November 11, 1867. 

80 Richmond Dispatch, July 13, 1867. 

81 Richmond Dispatch, July 6, 1867. 

Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad 1865-1873 155 

to Washington to interview certain congressmen. He found 
some who favored financial aid if the government could hold 
a first mortgage on the assets of the Virginia Central, but 
the company's petition was turned down when a congression- 
al committee had time to consider it. According to the com- 
mittee, "There is no free land freely accessible to the line, and 
Congress had better not set a precedent as to congressional 
appropriations to any particular railroad." 32 When the federal 
government failed to support the project, letters were written 
and representatives sent to interview northern capitalists. 33 
At the annual stockholders meeting in Richmond in No- 
vember, 1867, Thomas J. Ritchie's resolution changing the 
name of the company was adopted. 34 The president followed 
this with a hopeful message on extension, and he declared 
that $4,000,000 of stock had been raised. He continued in 

With one consent for nearly a century, the wisest and best 
men of our state have looked with earnest hope to the opening 
of the line of communication between the Mississippi Valley and 
the Atlantic coast, across the Alleghany mountains, where the 
waters of the James River and the Ohio River approach each 
so closely. Its peculiar advantages, as to distance, grades, climate, 
contiguous resources . . . compared with any other in the United 
States, are so distinctly marked by the finger of Divine Provi- 
dence and the results of the completion will be fraught with 
such inestimable blessings to our own, and other peoples, that 
the neglect to make every possible effort to secure its success 
would be a cardinal responsibility. 35 

A memorandum of the contract for the construction of the 
railroad from Covington to Ohio was then delivered to the 
group. Commissioners for each state concerned were named 
and the rules given. 36 The West Virginia commissioners had 
these resolutions passed, namely: (1) that the railroad prop- 
erty be tax exempt, ( 2 ) that each county be responsible for 
settling any land damages, (3) that the counties of West 

82 Richmond Whig, June 15, 1868. 

33 Richmond Whig, July 24, 1868. 

34 Thirty-second Annual Report by Stockholders, 1867, found in C. and O. 
offices, Richmond. 

35 Thirty-second Annual Report by Stockholders. 

36 Minutes of Stockholders 1867 meeting, found in the C. and O. office, 

156 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Virginia subscribe according to a fixed schedule, and (4) that 
Virginia counties use similar methods in securing county sub- 
scriptions. They did not object to the proviso of expending 
the funds subscribed by them on the west end of the road, 
which many counties of West Virginia had included. 37 

In August, 1867, the Board of Directors met and considered 
offering their railroad bonds for sale. While this matter was 
before the Board, other matters were settled as well. A con- 
struction contract with C. R. Mason and Company was com- 
pleted with the addition of this interesting resolution: 

Nothing contained in the contract made by this company shall 
have the effect of depriving the present creditors of the company 
of their claims for satisfaction out of the present property of 
the company and it shall be the duty of the president and 
directors before executing any further lien on the present prop- 
erty of this company to secure by mortgage any portion of the 
funded or floating debt not heretofore so secured that cannot be 
promptly paid off in the ordinary administration of the affairs of 
the company. 38 

A contract was negotiated with the Tredegar Company for 
iron, and H. D. Whitcomb and W. A. Kuper were selected 
as engineers and general superintendents of the work. In the 
construction work, the Board of Directors ordered the line 
to be divided at the beginning of the Kanawha division, and 
each grand division placed under the supervision of a princi- 
pal assistant, appointed by chief engineer Whitcomb. The 
board signed an agreement with the McGinnis Company of 
New York and Lancaster and Company of Richmond for the 
marketing of bonds. It was resolved to impower the president 
and treasurer of the company to make and execute with three 
trustees (two of New York, and one of Virginia) a mortgage 
for $10,000,000. These bonds were to be paid in gold coin 
at par in U. S. currency or British pound sterling. The com- 
pany would pay 7 per cent interest on the bonds so issued 
and $2,000,000 of these would be set aside for the purpose of 

87 Minutes of the Commissioners, 1867, found in C. and 0. office, Richmond. 
39 Minutes of the Board of Directors, 1867, found in C. and 0. office, 


Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad 1865-1873 157 

liquidating the indebtedness created by the old Virginia 
Central. 39 To help promote the sale of bonds the president 
was authorized by the Board of Directors to bring out a 
pamphlet with a map of the railroad, and McGinnis and 
Company was to be allowed not more than $10,000 for the 
sale of bonds in Europe. The pamphlet gave a brief history 
of the railroad from its inception and set forth the value of 
the road to Virginia, comparing the Chesapeake and Ohio 
with other eastern main lines. The claim was made that it was 
fast becoming one of the four east-west trunk lines furnishing 
an outlet from the Mississippi Valley to the Atlantic and tap- 
ping the iron, coal and other resources of Virginia. To com- 
plete the work, the pamphlet continued, the company had 
negotiated a first mortgage with Philo C. Calhoun, William 
Duncan, William Orton of New York, and Matthew F. Maury 
of Virginia, upon its entire property in order to secure pay- 
ment of $10,000,000 in bonds. 40 At the annual meeting in No- 
vember, 1868, the stockholders heard a report of President 
Fontaine regarding the amount of stock held, the accumulat- 
ed debt, and the present state of the expansion program. 41 
President W. C. Wickham found finances a problem at 
the outset of his administration in 1868, and had the board 
negotiate a loan of $150,000 for immediate funds. 42 A com- 
mittee was impanelled to fix from time to time the price of 
bonds to advance the price of the mortgage bonds. 43 A. T. 
Bergen of Brooklyn, New York, was contracted to furnish a 
loan of $325,000 in exchange for $650,000 of first mortgage 
7 per cent bonds as collateral. Still the new company failed 
to secure the necessary $10,000,000. 44 Fortunately, in 1869, 
a successful capitalist, after a tour of the whole line, became 
interested in the Chesapeake and Ohio. That man was C. P. 
Huntington who felt that the C. and O. might well serve as 
a line in his coast-to-coast chain. Huntington's proposition 

89 Minutes of the Board of Directors, 1867. 

40 Minutes of the Board of Directors, 1867. 

41 Minutes of the Stockholders meeting, 1868, found in C. and 0. offices, 

^Minutes of Board of Directors, 1868, found in C. and 0. offices, 

43 Minutes of Board of Directors, 1868, 
** Minutes of Board of Directors, 1868. 

158 The North Carolina Historical Review 

was presented to the board on July 15, 1869. He asked that 
the board cancel the 7 per cent bonds and issue a new loan 
of $15,000,000 at 6%, that $8,000,000 of common stock be 
delivered into the hands of a suitable trustee in installments, 
that the Blue Ridge Company be purchased from the above 
funds. He further stipulated that the acceptance of the above 
conditions would require a change in organization. 45 Both 
the board and the stockholders agreed to these terms after a 
committee of thirteen had studied the proposals. When the 
vote of the stockholders was taken there were 52,501 ayes 
and 5,100 nays, and at the same time the following resolu- 
tions were adopted: 

Resolved that the stockholders of the Chesapeake and Ohio 
Railroad Company, assembled in general meeting, do approve of 
the action of the President and Directors of the Company in 
negotiating, accepting and ratifying the proposition and agree- 
ment of Messrs. C. P. Huntington and others, dated New York, 
November 16, 1869, and do hereby authorize and empower the 
President and Directors to do whatever may be necessary to 
carry the same into full effect. 2nd: That the stockholders will 
proceed to elect eleven directors who shall have authority to 
choose from their own number a President and Vice-President 
of the Company. 3rd : That the Directory so organized shall have 
full power and authority to organize the Company in all its 
departments, to provide for the selection and employment of 
all officers and agents of the company; to prescribe their duties 
and define their authority; to ascertain and fix their compensa- 
tion ; and generally to make, for the government of the company, 
such rules as they may deem necessary, so that the same be not 
inconsistent with the charter of the company or the law of the 
land, and that they be at all times subject to the authority of 
the stockholders in general meeting. 46 

In conclusion, President Wickham stated, "under these 
difficult circumstances we are glad to avail ourselves of an 
opportunity which offered to secure upon terms satisfactory 
to us and advantageous to the company, the cooperation of 
gentlemen of New York, large capitalists and of high financial 
credit and reputation, who have undertaken the charge of 

45 Minutes of the Board of Directors, 1869, found in C. and O. offices, 

49 Annual Report of Stockholders, 1869, 6-9. 

Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad 1865-1873 159 

the finances of the company, and substituting a six percent 
loan will enable us to press the work vigorously to a speedy 
and successful completion." 47 

When a new board of directors was selected, Fisk and 
Hatch of New York, dealers in government securities, were 
allowed to sell $15,000,000 of C. and O. bonds payable in 
thirty years. 48 The firm began an advertising campaign in 
leading commercial journals, newspapers, and published bro- 
chures of its own, setting forth the benefits of the new line. 
One of the latter, entitled "Central Trunk Line to the West," 
stated that this line would tap the great Northwest, with its 
20,000 miles of railroad, thus providing the shortest line to 
the coast and furnishing coal at $7.00 to each extremity in 
contrast to the then current price of $9.00 a ton. 49 In an ad- 
vertisement, the firm declared the road had only a $1,000,000 
indebtedness, and the bonds offered for sale were secured by 
a mortgage on the whole line. 50 Meanwhile, the company 
purchased with bonds the Blue Ridge Railroad from the 
Board of Public Works for $625,348. This was a bargain 
compared to the original cost of $.1,694,820 in the 1850's. Not 
only were bonds used here, but President Wickham deposited 
the new bonds for the entire state debt. 51 Meanwhile, the 
Fisk and Hatch Company had sold one-third of the bonds, 
and the last miles of the Ohio extension were under contract. 52 
By 1870, the capital actually paid in amounted to $15,193,787 
and the funded debt had climbed to $6,681,000. 53 When a 
slight business recession appeared in 1871, the stock remained 
nearly at par and the whole bond issue was disposed of by 
1872. 54 With the financial crisis of 1873, the treasury of the 
company "was afflicted with a general railroad epidemic of 

47 Annual Report of Stockholders, 1869, 6-9. 

48 Richmond Whig, February 19, 1870. 

49 Richmond Dispatch, January 6, 1870; Harvey E. Fisk, "Fisk and 
Hatch, Bankers and Dealers in Government Securities, 1862-1865"; Journal 
of Business and Economic History, August, 1936. 

60 Evening State Journal (Richmond), May 23, 1870. 
51 Manuscripts found in a box labelled "C. and 0." in Virginia State 
Library, Richmond. 

62 Richmond Dispatch, November 20, 1870. 

53 Board of Public Works Report, 1870, 96. 

54 Richmond Whig, May 5, 1871 ; Richmond Dispatch, December 27, 1871, 
September 25, 1872. 


160 The North Carolina Historical Review 

emptiness." 55 The capitalization amounted to $16,543,787 
and the funded debt had tripled. 56 Fisk and Hatch failed, in 
December, 1873, and the C. and O. employees had to be paid 
in script bearing a promise to pay in thirty, sixty, or ninety 
days. 57 In 1875, suit was brought to foreclose the mortgage on 
the line. January 3, 1876, the property of the road was turned 
over to receivers. In July, 1878, a new company named the 
Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Company was organized from 
the old. 

Turning to the matter of current expenses and earnings, in 
1866 expenses amounted to $627,000 and earnings were 
$487,000 with rates of $3.82 per passenger and $6.40 per 
freight mile. 58 The unbalanced ratio of expenses to earnings 
can be accounted for when consideration is given to the line's 
major emphasis on the return operation. Material costs were 
up. Wages had risen 50 per cent above the pre-war level. 59 
Earnings could be expected to be light directly following 
hostilities, while wages were rising— for example, pay for a 
foreman was $1.30 and day labor $.65 a day. 60 In 1867 ex- 
penses were still ahead of annual revenues, 61 while the 1868 
report showed a great improvement, with 30% increase in 
travel and trade. The same improvement is revealed for the 
remainder of the decade, as the following table shows:- 











677,333 62 

With the 1870's, larger earnings were expected. The gross 
earnings for 1871 amounted to $769,265 which might be 
broken up in the following fashion: 

65 Board of Public Works Report, 1872, 10. 
56 Richmond Dispatch, October 29, 1873. 
67 Board of Public Works Report, 1873, 4. 
58 Hocking Valley Employees Magazine, December, 1932. 
69 Manuscript (dated 1866) in "Virginia Central Railroad" box, found 
in Virginia State Library, Richmond; Richmond Whig, November 2, 1866. 
60 Annual Report of Board of Public Works, 1866, 106-107. 

81 Annual Report of Board of Public Works, 1867, 94; Richmond Whig, 
November 28, 1867. 

82 Annual Report of Board of Public Works, 1868, 115; 1869, 70; 
1870, 96; Richmond Whig, November 21, 1868; Richmond Dispatch, Novem- 
ber 21, 1868. 

Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad 1865-1873 161 

Passengers $313,975.20 

Freight 421,903.92 

Mail 16,924.00 

Other Sources 16,461.93 

$769,265.05 63 

At the time of this report fares varied from $4.34 to $.05 per 
passenger mile, and freight was $4.85 per ton mile. 
A study of the expenses shows the following: 

Maintenance $158,231 .50 

Repair 57,566.10 

Operation 263,988.50 

$479,786.10 64 

Maintenance included repairs to roadbed, buildings, and in- 
surance on properties; repairs included that made on ma- 
chinery and cars, and incidental costs; operation included 
train operation expenses, salaries and wages for the 822 
employees, fuel used, depot expenses, advertising, and any 
damage assessed against the railroad during the year. 65 The 
continued improvement was recorded in the reports for 1872- 
1873. Expenses stood at $480,433 and earnings at $839,307, 66 
thus showing the effect of recovery and the benefits of west- 
ern extension. No dividends were declared at any time 
during the period. 

Extensions and railroad connections had been urged in the 
ante-bellum and war periods. These rail deficiencies had 
gravely hampered the rapid transit of war materials. In an 
editorial, the Richmond Enquirer pointed this out in 1865 
when it stated that the railroads had not been laid out in a 
unified plan, and urged both connecting links between lines 
and extensions east and west. 67 However, the time was inop- 
portune for such a suggestion since the Federals were cutting 
the original sections wherever they could. The Covington and 

63 Annual Report of Board of Public Works, 1870, 19. 

64 Annual Report of Board of Public Works, 1870, 19. 
85 Annual Report of Board of Public Works, 1870, 19. 
68 Annual Report of Board of Public Works, 1872, 19. 
67 Richmond Whig, January 4, 1865. 

162 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Ohio had been chartered and started by the state with the 
fond hope that some private company would take it over. 
The war caught it in the early stages of construction. Then 
after the war, as we have seen, the Virginia Central had 
bought it and expended its main energies in opening the line. 
Both Virginia and West Virginia were anxious to see the 
project completed. 

When the bill to sell the state interest in the Covington 
and Ohio came up in 1867, 68 some opposition was noted, such 
as Senator Ould's. He declared the bill failed to safeguard 
the state should the company fail to complete the line to the 
Ohio. 69 Those in favor had stronger arguments. Speaker of 
the House John B. Baldwin stated that if Virginia did not 
finish this project, The Baltimore and Ohio would siphon the 
trade from the west via Parkersburg. 70 When the bill passed 
both houses, in the form we have seen, and President Fon- 
taine let out the contracts for construction, there were those 
among the stockholders who felt the scheme too ambitious. 
Others had more vision. Such an optimist, writing in the 
New York Herald, felt that this would be the major line across 
the Alleghanies and the shortest route to St. Louis. When 
built the road would have less curves than any New York line, 
and would make Norfolk the New York of the South. 71 

H. D. Whitcomb advertised for bids and was ready in 
November 1868 with his first report on the progress. In this 
report to the stockholders he gave careful estimates of the 
finished and unfinished portions of the work. Whitcomb con- 
cluded by saying, "The unfinished work between Covington 
and White Sulphur Springs was put under contract immedi- 
ately after the reorganization of the company, and some 
progress has already been made. It is expected that the road 
will be opened to White Sulphur Springs by July, 1869. To 
accomplish this, it was necessary to lay a temporary track 
over Jerry's Run and the Lewis Tunnel; but this track will 
be made with gentler grades and curvature than that which 
has been operated with so much success for the past eleven 

68 Richmond Dispatch, January 17, 1867. 
™ Richmond Dispatch, February 12, 1867. 

70 Richmond Enquirer, February 14, 1867. 

71 Richmond Enquirer, September 5, 1868. 

Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad 1865-1873 163 

years near Millboro." 72 C. R. Mason, W. A. Kuper, and Deca- 
tur Axtell, were the contractors in building the tunnels and 
general extension found both the Jerry's Fill and Lewis Tun- 
nel very troublesome with frequent slides. 73 The superstruc- 
ture was provided under the direction of Major E. T. D. Myers. 
Finally in November, 1871, President C. P. Huntington in a re- 
port to the stockholders stated, "At the date of this report the 
whole work from the mouth of the New River to the city of 
Huntington (incorporated February 27, 1871) on the Ohio, 
is completed, with the exception of track laying on a part 
of the distance. The track-laying will be completed and the 
cars will be running daily over this portion of the line, in all 
probability before this report will reach you." 74 Actually, the 
line from Huntington to Charleston was opened December 4, 
1871; to Coalbury, March 4, 1872; and to Kanawha Falls, 
June 17, 1872. 75 Delays due to weather, slides, and other 
difficulties prevented completion of sections of the line; and 
the last spike was not driven until January 29, 1873. This date 
marked the opening of 419.3 miles of road from Richmond 
to Huntington. In the next month the first three passenger and 
freight cars made complete trips over the line. Great excite- 
ment was registered by the inhabitants of Huntington and 
elsewhere. The Charleston Courier, January 28, 1873, stated, 
". . . If General Breslin is correct when he asserts that the 
arrival of this first train from Richmond will be welcomed at 
Huntington with a salute of one hundred guns surely our 
metropolis can afford to rake up some old ordinance to give 
them a passing salute. Let the city fathers look to it that our 
city shall not be behind 'our country cousin' Huntington." 70 
City rivalry was developing over the steam horse! 

Personnel and Equipment 

Very little improvement in rolling stock was made during 
this period. Small engines and wooden coaches were employ- 
ed. Much of the stock had been bought from the Federal 

72 Annual Report of Board of Public Works, 1868, 56. 

73 Richmond Dispatch, August 27, 1868. 

74 Annual Report of President to the Stockholders, 1871, found in C. and 0. 
offices, Richmond. 

75 Annual Report of Board of Public Works, 1872, 28. 
78 Charleston Courier, January 28, 1873. 

164 The North Carolina Historical Review 

government or from some other line, and had seen hard wear 
during the war. Just at the close of the period, shops in 
Huntington and elsewhere were planning great improve- 
ments in rolling stock. Steel rails used on the western exten- 
sion cost the company from $105 to $200 a ton. 77 

The personnel of the road was an exceedingly able group 
of men from top to bottom. Edmund Fontaine, who had 
served as president since the 40's and had great backing 
among the stockholders, held his position until 1868. During 
his tenure of office he had always promoted extensions, had 
kept the road in operation all through the war, and had 
always preserved its independence from the Richmond, 
Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad Company and the 
state legislature. The sole criticism of Fontaine was his poli- 
tics. 78 William MacFarland, president of the Richmond City 
Council, favored him, declaring "Fontaine is a gentleman of 
considerable experience in railroad management; he has 
brought the affairs of the road over which he has so long and 
faithfully presided, to their present position, and has devoted 
his whole energy to their advancement, prosperity and suc- 
cess; in fact, as has been truly said, he has made the road, 
and must therefore be the most competent person to manage 
it." 79 At the conclusion of his tenure, a vote of thanks was 
extended Fontaine, and a ticket for use over the line was 
given him and his family for life. 80 

According to the Richmond Dispatch, Fontaine's successor, 
W. C. Wickham, was a gentleman of education and talent, 
great energy and strong practical sense. 81 Wickham who was 
a member of a prominent Virginia family, had led a cavalry 
charge through the fields of his home in Hanover during the 
war. He had lined up with the Republic Readjusters after 
the war. Upon assuming the Chesapeake and Ohio presi- 
dency, he threw himself wholeheartedly into the extension 
westward and was responsible for securing C. P. Huntington 
to succeed him as president. Wickham spent the rest of his 
life as vice-president. Toward Huntington there were two 

77 Richmond Dispatch, May 13, 1871. 

78 Richmond Times, October 27, 1865. 

79 Manuscript found in Virginia State Library, Richmond. 

80 Annual Report of the Board of Public Works, 1869, 7. 

81 Richmond Dispatch, November 30, 1868. 

Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad 1865-1873 165 

attitudes in Virginia. Some considered him the man who 
would be able to control effectively the new company. Others 
feared the control by a so-called "foreign" capitalist. The 
former view prevailed. 82 

Until 1868, the board of directors was composed of Vir- 
ginians—the state appointing three and the company two. As 
soon as the state's stock was bought by the company, the 
state no longer had the privilege of naming men to the board. 
This appeared to make little difference to the state, which 
wanted to get rid of its portion. With the coming of C. P. 
Huntington, the board was increased in number, and the 
membership included some "outsiders." 83 W. B. Hatch and 
Pliny Fisk themselves were directors during the early 70's. 

A number of able civil engineers served the line in its ex- 
pansion program. Some of the men, such as Charles Fisk, 
H. D. Whitcomb, W. A. Kuper and C. R. Mason, had been 
with the company since the program's beginning. Others as- 
sociated with these men were T. M. R. Talcott and Denis 
Shanahan. In 1868 the remaining 357 employees consisted of 
a general superintendent and his assistant, treasurer, 16 con- 
ductors, 15 train engineers, 2 road masters, 2 division masters, 
36 section masters, 84 mechanics, 3 telegraph operators, and 
numerous foremen, cleaners, brakemen, and laborers. 84 The 
number doubled in the 70's with the new extension requiring 
extra hands for operation as well as building. Some 5,000 
negroes were employed in October, 1871, for a short period 
to complete the work. They worked ten hours a day, and 
seemed contented with their pay of less than $1.00 a day. 85 
Always there was a labor shortage, and President Huntington 
considered bringing in Chinese to help. 86 During the winter 
of 1873 when the Huntington, West Virginia, merchants re- 
fused to extend further credit to the laborers, Wickham 
personally arranged for the merchants to accept the company 
script for a limited time. 87 

82 Richmond Dispatch, January 15, 1870; April 19, 1871. 

83 Annual Report of the Board of Public Works, 1869, 88; Richmond Whig, 
November 25, 1870. 

^Annual Report of Board of Public Works, 1868, 124. 

85 Richmond Whig, October 26, 1871. 

86 Richmond Whig, July 29, 1870. 

87 Axtell's Notes, found in C. and 0. offices, Richmond. 


166 The North Carolina Historical Review 


When the Virginia Central's line was open again to the 
Jackson river on September 1, 1865, the published schedule 
announced trains leaving from Richmond and Staunton at 
6:45 a.m. and 7:15 a.m., respectively, and stopping at sta- 
tions between. 88 The president reported "The condition of the 
roadway is good, the rolling stock is in excellent condition. 
You have on hand a good supply of wood and a fair supply 
of other necessary material. Several of your depots are re- 
built and will be built in the course of the fiscal year . . ." 
This was achieved in spite of the post-war depression, the 
unsettled political situation, and a scarcity of money. 89 Sev- 
eral bills before the Virginia legislature had demanded great- 
er freedom in the handling of express. 90 The law as finally 
passed again permitted railroads to contract with express 
companies, it prescribed the rate, and allowed an express 
company to subscribe to the stock of a particular company. 91 
A new contract was made with the Adams Express Company. 
Tonnage carried for 1866 amounted to 36,887, as compared 
to 64,270 tons in 1859. The main items hauled were guano, 
lumber, pig iron, bacon, butter, corn meal, tobacco, hogs and 
sheep. 92 

A survey made in the fall of 1866 showed the line in good 
shape west of Staunton. The report noted that through ditch- 
ing was needed, and urged the use of steel rails especially on 
the eastern section. Experiments had shown that one steel rail 
could outlast twenty of the old iron ones. The system of up- 
keep was praised; it consisted of using three to five laborers 
for every five miles, under supervision of a foreman with a 
supervisor covering every twenty miles of the line. 93 In 1867, 
the progress of the road was noted by the New York Chron- 
icle, which stated that the C. and O. was one of the greatest 
extensions in progress. 94 Major E. T. D. Myers, prominent 
civil engineer, made a survey and declared the line the best 

88 Richmond Times, September 1, 1865. 

80 Annual Report of Board of Public Works, 1866, 94. 

00 Richmond Dispatch, January 19, 1867. 

01 Richmond Dispatch, January 19, 1867. 

02 Annual Report of Board of Public Works, 1866, 103. 

03 Annual Report of Board of Public Works, 1866, 104. 
94 Richmond Dispatch, August 21, 1867. 

Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad 1865-1873 167 

of its kind in America. 95 President Fontaine called attention 
to this praise when he urged the purchase of stock. Further- 
more, he stated the line would promise 4 per cent dividends 
paid semiannually, cheaper freight rates, a market for 2,800 
ties per mile, and several regular trains daily. 96 

Special days and events often meant that the company was 
required to provide extra trains, running on special schedules 
and charging cheaper rates. For example, round-trip tickets 
to the springs were always quoted during the summer season. 
In the fall, favor was shown persons with exhibits 97 attending 
agricultural fairs. The C. and O. reported at the end of 1869 
a 13.6 per cent increase in passenger and 338 per cent increase 
in freight service over 1868 figures. 98 By 1872-1873, business 
on the line had greatly increased with passenger service to 
132,427 for 1872 reported, and to 141,873 the following year. 99 

Service opportunities increased as the westward extension 
was completed in the 1870's. The major products carried had 
changed somewhat from those noted above to include lumber, 
pig iron, hay, bacon, butter, wool, potatoes, fruit and corn. 100 
It was predicted that if Virginia could finish her through lines, 
she might well be the garden for the west, furnishing perish- 
able vegetables. 101 Fisk and Hatch in their brochure set forth 
the value of the line in bringing tobacco, pork and grains from 
the east to exchange for the coal, iron and other minerals of 
the Alleghanies. According to the brochure, "The present 
trade of the city of Richmond is of greater importance, in its 
bearing upon the business of the Chesapeake and Ohio Rail- 
road, than is generally supposed." 102 For, it was said that the 
Haxall and Gallego Flour Mills of Richmond were among the 
most extensive of the nation. Ships which took flour to South 

95 Richmond Enquirer, September 12, 1867. 

96 Richmond Dispatch, November 19, 1867; Richmond Whig, June 30, 1868; 
Annual Report of Board of Public Works, 1868. H. D. Whitcomb's report 
in 1868 pointed up the increased use of steel with the announcement that 
Sibert's steel, rolled at the Tredegar Works, was employed on the new 
section and one engine had been fitted out with steel wheels. By now the 
company could list 27 engines and 235 cars of one kind or another, which 
had carried 126,256 passengers and hauled freight 140,123 miles. 

87 Richmond Whig, July 27, 1868; October 13, 1868. 

98 Richmond Dispatch, January 1, 1870. 

99 Annual Report of Board of Public Works, 1872, 14; 1873, 7. 

100 Daily Dispatch, January 2, 1871. 

101 Daily State Journal, (Richmond), July, 1871. 

102 Richmond Dispatch, January 14, 1873. 

168 The North Carolina Historical Review 

America and the West Indies would return with coffee and 
sugar for the nation. Newspapers added their predictions of 
the tapping resources at every hand. 103 

After the war, there was much feeling that rates either were 
too high or were discriminatory. Several sessions of the Vir- 
ginia General Assembly had impanneled committees to study 
the question, and the stockholders of the railroad likewise 
held an inquiry. Finally, superintendent H. D. Whit comb 
published a table in 1867 comparing the Virginia Central 
rates on freight with the Baltimore and Ohio and Pennsyl- 
vania Railroads: 


Balti. b- Ohio 

Va. Central 

Corn IOC 

) pounds 




Hay 100 





Iron 100 





Coal 100 





He concluded by saying that as a general rule it would be 
found that the charges for agricultural and other products on 
most of the Virginia roads compared favorably with those of 
the North. 104 This quieted the opposition, and little appeared 
to come of the effort to get help from the Assembly. It merely 
recommended that free tickets be issued more judiciously. 105 
Charges were made anew in the 1870's that rates were so fixed 
that trade was drained out of the state. For example, one 
writer declared that the rates above Gordonsville made it 
cheaper to send produce to Baltimore than to Richmond or 
Lynchburg. 106 Another writer dealing with the same subject 
declared nothing could be done as long as there existed a 
railroad monopoly wedded to the legislature. 107 

A Wilmington newspaperman asked, "Why is it that it 
costs 25 per cent more to transport goods between this 
city (Wilmington, N. C.) and Richmond than it does be- 
tween Boston and Richmond? Could the rates on molasses, 
lumber, and naval stores to Richmond; on tobacco, flour and 
iron from Richmond, be reasonably low, a large business 

103 Richmond Dispatch, February 24, 1873. 

104 Richmond Dispatch, November 30, 1866. 

106 Richmond Times, May 24, 1867. 

108 Richmond Enquirer, April 13, 1867. 

107 Richmond Times, April 20, 1867. 

Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad 1865-1873 169 

could be built up between two southern cities to the natural 
advantage of both." 108 President W. C. Wickham wrote an 
open letter stating that there were no rate discriminations; 
the only exceptions were those for contractors and materials 
used in extensions. 109 The editor of the Richmond Dispatch 
came to the defense of the lines when he declared the rail- 
roads had been bankrupt concerns, and must be given time 
to work out their salvation. But he further declared that the 
railroads should carry to market all products capable of 
being turned into money. 110 These cries were quieted with 
extension westward and with the realization of connections 
to other lines. 

The state still required all roads to send in a full report of 
their finances, amount of property, rates charged and general 
characteristics of the road. The governor and Assembly ap- 
peared to attach very little value to the stock that the state 
held in the lines following the war. Governor Pierpont in an 
address to the Assembly stated, "I attach no value for 
revenue purposes to the stock held by the state in the James 
River Canal, turnpikes, bridges, and railroads." He recom- 
mended the sale of all shares. 111 In the same address, he 
condemned the discriminating rates and urged lines to con- 
solidate. Immediately the newspapers of the day responded 
to this. Some suggested that the stock be sold locally, to 
prevent some "foreign" line such as the B. and O. buying up 
the lines. 112 Others accused the capitalists of rushing into 
the legislative halls to secure control over the state stock. 113 
As far as the Chesapeake and Ohio was concerned, it lagged 
in its appeal to capitalists, for it remained in local hands 
until the 1870's. In 1869, in its search for capital, the com- 
pany appealed to the Federal government. Since the Con- 
gress had aided western lines, why not help the eastern roads 
too? The old State's Right argument was advanced in op- 
position. 114 A writer in the Richmond Whig opposing the 

108 Quoted in Richmond Dispatch, September 9, 1867. 

109 Letters found in Manuscript Division of the Virginia State Library, 

110 Richmond Dispatch, October 3, 1867; October 31, 1867. 
*" Richmond Whig, December 5, 1866. 

112 Richmond Whig, December 8, 1866. 
** Richmond Times, February 5, 1866. 
u * Richmond Dispatch, March 2, 1867. 

170 The North Carolina Historical Review 

request argued, "The government is not in the business to 
build railroads any more than it is the business of the United 
States to keep a grocer." 115 

Meanwhile, the Huntington contract had been completed, 
and a committee of the Senate had investigated its validity. 116 
This contract set off a tirade of comment regarding railroad 
control of the state government. Actually, the railroad had 
taken the sole initiative in consummating the contract with- 
out consulting the Assembly. 117 A free railroad bill was 
urged by those who felt railroading should be free of legis- 
lative influence. 118 This would allow out-of-state capitalists 
to buy controlling interest in Virginia lines with little or no 
state interference or regulation. The Richmond Whig op- 
posed the proposal for fear the lines would all be sold to 
foreign capitalists. 119 According to the newspaper, Poor's 
Railroad Manual 12 ° stated that it was against the passage of 
such a law for it felt competition would be unbridled, too 
much consolidation would result, and fictitious capital would 
accrue. 121 The bill failed to carry, but so important was it 
that it became an issue in the state campaign of 1873. One 
of the opposition campaigners declared, "let the people of 
Virginia rally as one man against this invidious and compre- 
hensive scheme of conquest, commercial and political. If our 
internal improvement interests, our transportation trade and 
whole business goes to Tom Scott (president of the Pennsyl- 
vania Railroad ) our politics and entire fortunes and destinies 
will go along with them." 122 Notwithstanding, Tom Scott 
bought controlling interest in the Richmond and Danville. 
C. P. Huntington and Associates followed with purchase of 
controlling interest in the C. and O. Huntington and his 
group were considered just, liberal, and public-spirited. 123 
Huntington was described by one observer as "a far-seeing 
man, whose tact and energy have accumulated fortunes, 

115 Richmond Whig, January 4, 1869. 

ufl Journal of the Senate, 1869-1870, 136. 

117 Richmond Whig, January 12, 1870. 

118 Richmond Whig, March 4, 1870. 

TL9 Richmond Whig, January 21, February 8, 1872. 
™ Richmond Whig, February 28, 1873. 

121 Richmond Whig, February 28, 1873. 

122 Richmond Whig, April 5, 1873. 

123 Richmond Whig, December 1, 1870. 

Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad 1865-1873 171 

who is a better judge of practical advantages and the ways 
to promote trade and prosperity, than sly-scrapping politi- 



The next problem to interest both the state and the C. and 
O. was the straightening of lines run through Richmond to 
the coast. That involved the straightening of the line from 
Clifton Forge to Richmond via Lynchburg. A "Straight 
Shoot" line was the label put on the plea. Surveys were made 
in 1870 for such a line and meetings were held in Powhatan, 
Cumberland, and Chesterfield counties by groups who felt 
the line should pass through their section. 125 A Lynchburg 
and Covington party visited Richmond and Petersburg to 
promote the cause. Richmonders urged the same cause, for 
they had been long aware that a large share of trade had by- 
passed them to use the southside lines. 126 The General Assem- 
bly passed a law providing that any company willing to un- 
dertake such an effort should put up $5,000,000 capital. Other 
interesting provisions required that no discriminatory 
charges should be permitted, and also provided that land 
might be taken in payment of capital. 127 The C. and O., with 
its hands full in the westward extension program, appeared 
slow in taking up the challenge. The line was more concerned 
with a connection between Richmond and the coast. Some 
officials were willing to wait to see if Huntington would be 
interested in the plan after he reached the Ohio, for, as one 
said, the "straight shoot" was necessary to achieve the full 
value of the C. and O. 128 Captain William Mahone, president 
of the Richmond and Petersburg, showed some interest, and 
when that was manifest, Huntington also evinced interest. 
Here the matter rested until after the "crisis of '73." 129 

As for expansion of the C. and O. into the Old Northwest, 
the people of Cincinnati looked forward to the arrival of the 
lines which would make contact with the Central Pacific. 130 
Other townspeople spoke of a possible connection with 

^Richmond Dispatch, September 4, 1871. 

^Richmond Dispatch, January 15, February 3, 1870. 

126 Richmond Dispatch, January 4, 1870. 

^Richmond Dispatch, June 25, 1870. 

128 Lynchburg Tri-Weekly News, February 20, 1873. 

229 Richmond Dispatch, April 29, 1873. 

130 Richmond Dispatch, February 9, 1871. 

172 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Chicago via Dayton, which they were sure was in Hunting- 
ton's plans. 131 

The critical year of 1873 found Virginia ranked sixth in 
railroad mileage. Only New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indi- 
ana and Illinois outranked the southern state. The Chesa- 
peake and Ohio was fast becoming an important national 
line with low rates, improved equipment, and so-called 
"foreign personnel/' It had survived the perilous period of 
over-capitalization, the bankruptcy of Fisk and Hatch, and 
of disruptive reorganization. 


Richmond Dispatch, October 30, 1871. 



By J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton 

I wish first to express my appreciation of your invitation 
to address you. It has not been my good fortune to be often 
with you at the meetings of this Society, or at other historical 
gatherings, and I am very happy to renew my association 
with you. 

I have followed one of the suggestions of the bearer of 
your message to me, and have chosen for my subject a retro- 
spect of historical endeavor in the South during the period, 
lacking only three years of half a century, since I came to the 
University of North Carolina and joined the goodly company 
of those already engaged in the teaching and in the writing 
of history, chiefly that of the South. With some mangling 
of the quotation I may say: 

Quaeque ipse vidi 
et quorum exigua pars brevisque fui. 

For the sake of those of you whose Latin requirement, like 
mine, has passed into the void, I venture a translation: 

All of which I saw 
and a small and unimportant part of which I was. 

At the time of my coming, in 1906, the following were 
the professors of history in the South in the order of seniority: 
Thomas C. McCorvey of Alabama, John H. McPherson of 
Georgia, George Petrie of Auburn, Kemp P. Battle of North 
Carolina, John R. Ficklen of Tulane, John M. Vincent of 
Johns Hopkins, James C. Ballagh of Johns Hopkins, Franklin 
L. Riley of Mississippi, Edgar H. Johnson of Emory, George 
P. Garrison of Texas, Julian A. C. Chandler of Richmond, 
Enoch W. Sikes of Wake Forest, David D. Wallace of Wof- 
ford, Eugene C. Barker of Texas, William E. Dodd of Ran- 

* Delivered before the Historical Society of North Carolina, May 2, 1953, 
at Durham. 


174 The North Carolina Historical Review 

dolph-Macon, Edmund C. Burnett of Mercer, Nathaniel W. 
Stephenson of Charleston, Frederick W. Moore of Vander- 
bilt, John H. Latane of Washington and Lee, John H. 
Reynolds of Arkansas, Walter L. Fleming of West Virginia, 
but shortly later of Louisiana, Henry R. Mcllwaine of 
Hampden-Sydney, who quickly departed from the faith, 
John P. McConnell of Emory and Henry, St. George L. 
Sioussat of Sewanee, Yates Snowden of South Carolina, and 
David Y. Thomas of Arkansas. John S. Bassett of Trinity had 
just gone to Smith, and Charles L. Raper of North Carolina 
had just departed from the field of history. William K. Boyd 
of Trinity, Charles W. Ramsdell of Texas, and John W. Way- 
land of Bridgewater entered the field in 1906, the year of my 

Most of these men had received the doctorate, and a 
majority of them were eager teachers and many of them 
were productive scholars. Of the group Barker, Wayland, 
Raper and myself are, I believe, the only survivors. To them 
were added within the space of three years, Thomas J. 
Wertenbaker of Virginia, Joseph M. McConnell of Davidson, 
Enoch M. Banks of Florida, and Henry M. Wagstaff of North 
Carolina in 1907, Charles H. Ambler of Randolph-Macon 
and Ulrich B. Phillips of Tulane in 1908, and William T. 
Laprade of Trinity, and Thad W. Riker of Texas in 1909. 
Of these Wertenbaker, Ambler, Riker, and Laprade still 
survive. Wertenbaker was for years on the wrong side of 
the Mason and Dixon Line, but now he has come back 

History was, of course, taught elsewhere than at the in- 
stitutions named, but most of the teachers were untrained 
in history, and in most cases they divided their time with 
other subjects, and many were the absurd groupings. 

The work of the men named was almost entirely confined 
to undergraduate teaching, and the great majority of them 
taught courses outside of the fields of their major interest. 
Schedules were heavy and little time was available for re- 
search. Salaries were pitifully low, and the necessary funds 
for the extensive travel required for adequate research were 
lacking to most of them. Libraries, too, were inadequate, 

History in the South 175 

and that imposed a burden. The wonder is that there was 
as much productive work outside of teaching. 

Graduate instruction was practically limited to Johns Hop- 
kins University. The University of Virginia accepted a few 
candidates for the doctorate, but could not be said to have 
a developed system of graduate work. 

Historical writing was by no means confined to this pro- 
fessional group. Lyon G. Tyler, Peter Joseph Hamilton, Judge 
Henry A. Middleton Smith, Stephen B. Weeks, who had 
taught history briefly at Trinity, Phillip Alexander Bruce, 
Grace King, Reuben T. Durritt, Thomas M. Owen, Alcee 
Fortier, William P. Trent, Marshall De Lancey Haywood, 
Samuel A. Ashe, Joseph A. Waddell, A. V. Goodpasture, 
Alexander S. Salley, Dunbar Rowland, and many others were 
making substantial historical contributions. 

A manifestation of historical interest which should be 
noted was the existence of historical societies. The South, 
it must be confessed, was littered with dead or dying his- 
torical organizations, but some— all too few— were rendering 
genuine and valuable service. Others existed only in name, 
or in the enthusiasm of a few devoted spirits. Those of wider 
membership than individual states were the Southern His- 
torical Society with headquarters in Richmond, devoted to 
Confederate history, and with a small and vanishing mem- 
bership, and the Southern History Association with head- 
quarters in Washington, with less than three hundred 
members, more than a third of which were libraries, existing 
only by grace of the labors of Colyar Meriwether and 
Stephen B. Weeks, and nearing its end. In 1904 Maryland 
had eleven members, Virginia twelve, North Carolina twenty- 
eight, South Carolina sixteen, Georgia nine, Florida four, 
Alabama four, Mississippi one, Louisiana fourteen, Texas 
four, Arkansas none, Tennessee ten, and Kentucky eight. 
The contribution by the professional group to the publica- 
tions of the Society were relatively few. 

In the American Historical Association southern members 
were relatively rare, but most of the professional group were 
to be found enrolled. The exact figures of the membership 
are not available. 

176 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Membership in the state and local historical societies was 
usual with the professional group, and in a number of cases 
they kept them alive. State societies of varying, but usually 
of little vigor, were existent in Maryland, Virginia, North 
Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, 
Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky. 

Many historical publications had been projected in the 
South, but most of them had fallen on evil days, failing to 
secure enough public interest to survive. The Publications 
of the Southern History Association, excellent for its time, 
was entering upon its last year, the Maryland Historical So- 
ciety Publications was gone, as were the Washington and Lee 
University Historical Papers, the American Historical Maga- 
zine and Tennessee Historical Society Quarterly, the Trans- 
Alleghany Historical Magazine, The Papers of the Alabama 
Historical Society, the Bulletins of the Alabama Department 
of Archives and History, the Texas Historical and Biographi- 
cal Magazine, and the Kentucky Historical and Genealogical 

But there were in existence, on the other hand, the Mary- 
land Historical Magazine, the Johns Hopkins University 
Studies, the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 
the Papers of the Southern Historical Society, the William 
and Mary Quarterly, the John P. Branch Historical Papers, 
the North Carolina Booklet, the North Carolina Historical 
and Genealogical Register, the Trinity College Historical 
Society Papers, the James Sprunt Historical Monographs, 
the South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, 
the Transactions of the Huguenot Society of South Carolina, 
the Georgia Historical Society Collections, the Publications 
of the Alabama Historical Society, the Publications of the 
Mississippi Historical Society, the Louisiana Historical So- 
ciety Publications, Publications of the Arkansas Historical 
Association, the Texas State Historical Society Quarterly, 
and the Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, 
all of which were performing valuable service. 

State agencies for the collection and preservation of his- 
torical material were just making their appearance. Alabama 
had its Department of Archives and History, with Thomas 

History in the South 177 

M. Owen at its head. Mississippi had Dunbar Rowland in a 
similar office, the Archives Division of the Texas State Li- 
brary was headed by E. W. Winkler, South Carolina's His- 
torical Commission was headed by A. S. Salley, and North 
Carolina had taken its first step by appointing a historical 
commission, and was, the following year, to implement it 
by an appropriation for its support, and R. D. W. Connor, 
as its secretary, was entering upon his productive career. 

Of great collections of historical manuscripts there were 
none, but important beginnings had been made by the Mary- 
land Historical Society, the Virginia Historical Society, the 
Virginia State Library, William and Mary College, the South 
Carolina Historical Society, the Georgia Historical Society, 
The Alabama Archives, the Mississippi Archives, the Mis- 
sissippi Historical Society, the University of Mississippi, the 
Louisiana Historical Society, the Howard Library, the Texas 
State Library and the University of Texas. The Trinity Col- 
lege Historical Society and the North Carolina Historical 
Society, the latter identified with The University of North 
Carolina, had each considerable collections. None of these 
agencies however, were active in gathering material, and 
most of them were stagnant. 

In general it may be said that the outlook for development 
of historical research, the preservation of historical material, 
and suitable and progressive organizations was far from 

But development in all these fields came. The growth and 
expansion of the southern universities and colleges was ac- 
companied by the expansion of the departments of history 
with consequent additions to the professional group. Stand- 
ards of teaching and research improved. Salaries increased, 
and promising young men began to see a worth-while field 
of labor and an honorable career in historical work. 

Public interest in history developed, and aided powerfully 
in the expansion of the departments of history in the various 
institutions where the interest and demands of students led 
to expansion in the courses offered. The thin stream of re- 
search, and the publication of the results, widened and grew 
deeper, thanks to lightened teaching loads, the growth and 

178 The North Carolina Historical Review 

expansion of university and college libraries, and rising 
salaries. State and other agencies for collecting and preserv- 
ing historical manuscripts increased in number and develop- 
ed in strength, historical organizations found new life, and 
historical publications increased in number and improved 
in quality. 

Not all of this growth, by any means, was due to the work 
and influence of the professional group. They played an 
important part in it, but a steadily increasing number of 
devoted and public spirited men and women joined with 
them in promoting the cause of history. There developed, 
too, an increasing number of non-professional historical 
writers whose work steadily improved in quality as it in- 
creased in amount. And the increase in university presses 
and in historical magazines furnished an ever-widening op- 
portunity for publication with consequent aroused interest in 
research and writing. 

Nobody in 1906 ever dreamed of the day when active 
university presses would be in operation at North Carolina, 
Duke, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, 
and Kentucky, with embryos at Virginia and Alabama. They 
have a striking and highly important output, with historical 
works holding a strong place. Notable among such works 
are the southern history series of Louisiana and Texas, and 
the southern biographical series issued by Louisiana. 

As we view the scene now we see what a remarkable de- 
velopment has come. The southern universities and colleges 
have undergone a marvellous change, and their number has 
increased. There are innumerable vigorous and well-staffed 
history departments filled with capable teachers and investi- 
gators. Graduate schools have been organized; until now 
they are as follows: Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Virginia, 
North Carolina, Duke, South Carolina, Emory, Florida, 
Louisiana State University, Tulane, Texas, Rice Institute, 
Peabody, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky. In numbers of candi- 
dates for the doctorate in history The University of North 
Carolina stands sixth in the United States, being topped by 
Columbia, Harvard, Wisconsin, Chicago and Pennsylvania. 

History in the South 179 

In the South it is followed by Texas, Duke, Johns Hopkins, 
Emory, Vanderbilt, Maryland, Kentucky and Tulane. 

Southern historical publications are on a firm foundation. 
In addition to the more important ones existent at the begin- 
ning of the period covered are: the Maryland Historical and 
Genealogical Bulletin, Maryland Historical Notes, Tylers 
Historical Quarterly, Historical and Genealogical Magazine, 
The North Carolina Historical Review, the South Carolina 
Historical Magazine (a continuation of the Historical and 
Genealogical Magazine), the South Carolina Historical Com- 
mission Bulletin, the Georgia Historical Quarterly, the Flor- 
ida Historical Quarterly, the Alabama Historical Quarterly, 
the Alabama Review, the Journal of Mississippi History, the 
Louisiana Historical Quarterly, the Southwestern Historical 
Quarterly (a continuation of the Texas State Historical So- 
ciety Quarterly), the Texas University Studies in History, 
the Texas Catholic Historical Society Studies, the Arkansas 
Historical Quarterly, The Tennessee Historical Quarterly, 
the East Tennessee Historical Quarterly, the West Tennessee 
Historical Society Papers, and the Filson Club History Quar- 
terly. In addition, two general publications, the Journal of 
Southern History and the Mississippi Valley Historical Re- 
view have won established places among national historical 

To the already existent state agencies previously listed 
have been added the Maryland Archives, the Georgia Ar- 
chives, and the Florida Archives. The North Carolina His- 
torical Commission has been replaced by the Department of 
Archives and History, and has built an important body of 
archives and personal manuscripts. 

Other collecting agencies have developed and grown and 
new ones have been added. The Maryland Historical So- 
ciety collections have greatly increased, as have those of 
William and Mary, and the University of Virginia Library 
has built a great collection. The Flowers Collection of Duke 
University is large and important, as are those of the South- 
ern Historical Collection at The University of North Carolina, 
the Presbyterian Archives at Montreat, the Caroliniana So- 
ciety of the University of South Carolina, the Emory Uni- 

180 The North Carolina Historical Review 

versity Library, the Department of Archives of Louisiana 
State University, the Library of the University of Texas, the 
Lawson McGhee Library in Knoxville, and the Library of 
the University of Kentucky. 

Other manifestations of historical interests which should 
be mentioned are the increasing activity of county historical 
societies, the publication of county histories, the develop- 
ment of historical museums, which in turn increase historical 
interest, and the increased amount of space devoted by news- 
papers to historical articles and the reproduction of histori- 
cal documents. 

Nor should carefully prepared historical plays such as 
"The Lost Colony," "Unto These Hills," "The Common 
Glory," and "The Horn in the West," be unmentioned. They, 
too, in spite of their limitations and character, render an 
important service in arousing interest in history. 

A notable undertaking is that of the Institute of Early 
American History and Culture at Williamsburg. 

Southern membership in the American Historical Asso- 
ciation has increased substantially to 848, thus distributed: 
Maryland 168, Virginia 159, North Carolina 110, South 
Carolina 32, Georgia 43, Florida 51, Alabama 29, Mississippi 
11, Louisiana 25, Texas 92, Arkansas 19, Tennessee 71, and 
Kentucky 38. Southern members serve on the Council, on 
numerous committees, on the editorial board of the American 
Historical Review, and numerously on the programs of the 

The Southern Historical Association, a vigorous organiza- 
tion founded in 1934, has nearly a thousand southern mem- 
bers distributed as follows: Maryland 38, Virginia 115, North 
Carolina 123, South Carolina 75, Georgia 102, Florida 69, 
Alabama 102, Mississippi 73, Louisiana 68, Texas 82, Ar- 
kansas 18, Tennessee 103, and Kentucky 56. 

The development thus described of historical teaching, 
writing, publication, and organization, has passed beyond 
the wildest dreams and most ardent hopes of forward look- 
ing men at the time of my entrance upon the scene. There 
is much still to be done— it would be unfortunate if there 
were not— but what has been accomplished is heartwarming 

History in the South 181 

to this old-timer. Except for being a sort of perfectionist in 
spirit, I would be tempted to make an ending of my retro- 
spect of half a century with a chant of Nunc dimittis, Dom- 
ine, but I refrain. But I heartily congratulate you youngsters, 
that in spite of imperfections still existent, you can truthfully 
say with the Psalmist, 'The lines are fallen unto me in 
pleasant places; yea I have a goodly heritage." 





By Christopher Crittenden 

Marking the completion of two years of its expanded and 
revitalized program, the State Literary and Historical As- 
sociation held a series of unusually stimulating and instruc- 
tive sessions at its fifty-third annual meeting in Raleigh, 
December 4, 1953. At the morning business session, at the 
Sir Walter Hotel, reports of committees were presented and 
other matters were attended to, indicating an active and 
growing popular interest and participation throughout the 
state in the Association's work. Three talks were then made: 
"The North Carolina Department of Archives and History— 
The First Half Century," by Professor Henry S. Stroupe of 
Wake Forest College; "North Carolina Non-Fiction Books of 
the Year," by Hoke Norris of the Winston-Salem Journal-Sen- 
tinel; and "North Carolina Awards in Literature and His- 
tory," by Professor Richard Walser of State College. 

Three new literary awards were made at the morning ses- 
sion: the Roanoke-Chowan Award for poetry, given by the 
Roanoke-Chowan group of writers and allied artists, to 
Frank Borden Hanes of Winston-Salem for his verse narra- 
tive, Abel Anders; the American Association of University 
Women Award for juvenile literature to Ruth and Latrobe 
Carroll of Asheville for their book, Peanut; and the R. D. W. 
Connor Award for the best article published by a student 
during the year in The North Carolina Historical Review, 
presented by the State Literary and Historical Association to 
Hugh F. Rankin of Chapel Hill for his article, "The Moore's 
Creek Bridge Campaign, 1776." 

At the luncheon meeting, also at the Sir Walter Hotel, 
Professor Dougald MacMillan of The University of North 
Carolina at Chapel Hill reviewed "North Carolina Fiction 
for the Three Years Ending August 31, 1953." 


Papers from the 53rd Annual Session 183 

The dinner meeting was held in the cafeteria of the new 
State Highway Building, where Professor Frontis W. John- 
ston of Davidson College delivered the presidential ad- 
dress, "The Courtship of Zeb Vance." 

At the evening session, in the auditorium of the Highway 
Building, Professor Allan Nevins of Columbia University 
spoke on "New Lamps for Old in History." Afterward Mrs. 
Preston B. Wilkes, Jr., of Charlotte, governor of the Society 
of Mayflower Descendants in North Carolina, presented the 
Mayflower Award for non-fiction to LeGette Blythe of Hun- 
tersville and Dr. Mary T. Martin Sloop of Crossnore for their 
work, Miracle in the Hills. Miss Clara Booth Byrd of Greens- 
boro, president of the Historical Book Club, then presented 
the Sir Walter Raleigh Awards in fiction to Inglis Fletcher 
of Edenton for her series of North Carolina historical novels 
and to Frances Gray Patton of Durham for her volume of 
short stories, The Finer Things of Life. 

All of the papers read at the various sessions are included 
in the pages that follow. It is believed that as a group they 
rank among the most interesting and most stimulating that 
have ever been given at an annual meeting of the Association. 


By Henry S. Stroupe 

Fifty years ago State Senator R. F. Beasley of Union 
County reported to the State Literary and Historical Asso- 
ciation on books published by North Carolinians during the 
year 1903. Although a number of such books had been pub- 
lished, Beasley doubted that a fairly diligent newspaper 
reader could name as many as two of them. "The point is," 
he wrote, "that they have not attracted the attention of the 
public, even the portion of it that constitutes our readers. . . . 
There are a good many people, an increasing number of 
people, in the State who read a good many books of one 
kind or another. But they don t read North Carolina books 
to any extent." These works were described as lacking "the 
merit that attracts." The Senator explained why so few out- 
standing books were being written in history: "There is too 
great a lack of research, learning and imagination, three 
things very necessary in the production of historical 
writing." 1 

An examination of the books written by North Carolinians 
and about North Carolina since 1903 reveals that the above 
statements are no longer true. The work of the North Caro- 
lina Historical Commission and its successor the Department 
of Archives and History were responsible to a considerable 
extent for the growth of interest in the writing and study of 
North Carolina history. Not only have these agencies col- 
lected, preserved, and published vast quantities of historical 
materials; they have stimulated interest in their use as well. 

The founding of the Historical Commission was in part 
the work of the State Literary and Historical Association. 
The stated purpose of the Association had included since its 
founding in 1900 the collection, preservation, production, 
and dissemination of North Carolina literature and history. 

1 The News and Observer, November 15, 1903. 


The First Half Century 185 

In a sketch of the early history of the Association, Edward P. 
Moses declared that to it should go the credit for initiating 
the movement which culminated in the establishment of the 
Historical Commission. On January 3, 1903, the Association 
adopted a resolution requesting the General Assembly to 
pass an act creating a commission charged with the duty 
of having the historical sources of the state collected, edited, 
and published. The resolution also provided for the appoint- 
ment by the Association of a committee to draft the proposed 
bill. William Joseph Peele, who did more than any other 
individual to develop the idea of a commission, wrote the 
bill and secured its enactment into law. 2 

The act, which passed its third reading March 9, 1903, 
authorized the governor to appoint a commission of not more 
than five persons for a term of two years and they were to 
serve without salary, mileage, or per diem. Their duties were 
"to have collected from the files of old newspapers, from 
court records, church records and elsewhere valuable dockets 
pertaining to the history of the State," to direct the publica- 
tion of these "by the State Printers as public printing," and 
to supervise their distribution by the State Librarian. The 
Commission was authorized to expend not more than $500 
in the collection and transcription of documents. 3 

Under this act Governor Charles Brantley Aycock appoint- 
ed William Joseph Peele of Raleigh, James Dunn Hufham of 
Henderson, Foster Alexander Sondley of Asheville, Richard 
Dillard of Edenton, and Robert Digges Wimberly Connor 
of Wilmington members of the Commission. Only one meet- 
ing was held during the two years of the first term. This oc- 
curred on November 20, 1903, at Warsaw, with the election 
of Peele as chairman and Connor as secretary the principal 
tangible results. The Commission's first report to the gover- 
nor dealt more with plans and prospects than with achieve- 
ments. A concise statement of the basic reason for the Com- 
mission's existence did, however, appear: 

a Literary and Historical Activities in North Carolina, 1900-1905 (Publica- 
tions of the North Carolina Historical Commission, 1905), I, 21, 28. 

8 Public Laws and Resolutions of the State of North Carolina, 1903, chap- 
ter 767. 

186 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The people of North Carolina are realizing more and more 
every day that it is not safe to trust the future to the control 
of a people who are ignorant of their past; and that no people 
who are indifferent to their past need hope to make their future 
great. But even when this lesson is fully realized it will be value- 
less unless steps are taken at the same time to preserve the 
material from which that past is to be made intelligible to the 
present and to the future. 4 

When Governor Robert B. Glenn appointed commission- 
ers for the second term he chose men living in or near Ra- 
leigh in order to facilitate meeting. They were John Bryan 
Grimes, Thomas W. Blount, Charles Lee Raper, Connor, 
who had moved to Raleigh, and Peele. Even though more 
work was completed than before, it soon became apparent 
that a different and more effective organization was needed. 
The most urgent need was for a paid secretary and office 

In 1907, therefore, the General Assembly was persuaded 
to amend the original act so that the Commission's powers 
were enlarged and its duties increased. By the provisions of 
this new act the members of the Commission were appointed 
for terms of two, four, or six years, with their successors to 
serve for six years. They still received no salary or per diem 
but were to be paid their "actual expenses when attending 
to their official duties." The annual appropriation was in- 
creased to $5,000 with which the Commission was instructed 
to employ a secretary and equip an office for the filing and 
preservation of historical documents. 

The enlarged duties of the Commission were stated in 
section two of the act of 1907: 

It shall be the duty of the Commission to have collected . . . 
historical data pertaining to the history of North Carolina and 
the territory included therein from the earliest times; to have 
such material properly edited, published by the State Printer 
as other State printing, and distributed under the direction of 
the Commission ; to care for the proper marking and preserva- 
tion of battle-fields, houses and other places celebrated in the 
history of the State; to diffuse knowledge in reference to the 
history and resources of North Carolina; to encourage the 

4 Report of the Historical Commission to Governor Charles B. Aycock, 
1908-1905, 3. 

The First Half Century 187 

study of North Carolina history in the schools of the State, 
and to stimulate and encourage historical investigation and 
research among the people of the State; to make a biennial 
report of its receipts and disbursements, its work and needs, 
to the Governor, to be by him transmitted to the General Assem- 
bly. . . . 5 

Section five provided that any "State, county, town or 
other public official in custody of public documents is hereby 
authorized and empowered in his discretion to turn over 
to said Commission for preservation any official books, rec- 
ords, documents, original papers, newspaper files, printed 
books or portraits, not in current use in his office, and said 
Commission shall provide for their permanent preserva- 
tion. . . ." 

This law made clear the fact that the Commission was ex- 
pected to do for the entire history of the state what William 
L. Saunders and Walter Clark had done for the period prior 
to 1790 by publication of The Colonial Records of North 
Carolina and The State Records of North Carolina. The duty 
of collecting, editing, and publishing historical data was 
recognized by the Commission at this early date in its history 
as its most important duty. 6 

The Commission appointed by Governor Glenn after pas- 
sage of the new act was composed of Grimes, Peele, and 
Blount, all of whom had been members of the previous Com- 
mission, Marcus Cicero Stephens Noble of Chapel Hill, and 
Daniel Harvey Hill of Raleigh. On May 20, 1907, the new 
Commission met in the office of Secretary of State Grimes 
and elected Grimes chairman and Connor secretary. A small 
upstairs room in the east wing of the Capitol was assigned 
Connor as an office and he was instructed to secure the 
necessary equipment. Thus after four years of beginnings 
the Commission had secured an annual appropriation of 
$5,000, a definition of its duties, quarters, and a salaried 

6 Public Laws and Resolutions of the State of North Carolina, 1907, 
chapter 714. 

6 The North Carolina Historical Commission: Creation and Organization; 
Duties and Powers; Plans and Purposes, 1907, 9. 

188 The North Carolina Historical Review 

At this time the largest and most important collections of 
historical materials relating to North Carolina were those in 
the public archives of the state, in the Capitol, and elsewhere 
in Raleigh. In his second report as secretary, Connor de- 
clared that the manner in which these materials had been 
kept was "anything but creditable to our intelligence and 
patriotism. Thousands of manuscripts, records and other 
documents are stuffed away in dark pigeonholes, in boxes 
and corners, without order or system, are tossed about from 
place to place with an utter indifference to their value, or are 
thrown helter-skelter here and there, in leaky attics in var- 
ious parts of the city." 7 

The initial task faced by the Commission was, therefore, 
to collect these records, file them systematically, and pre- 
serve them from destruction. Years were to elapse before 
this could be completed. Among the items in the public 
archives assembled the first years were the journals of both 
houses of the General Assembly, the journals of conventions, 
the journals of the Board of Internal Improvements, the 
journals of the Council of State, the letter books of the gover- 
nors, the records of North Carolina troops in the War be- 
tween the States, the reports of the Land Frauds Commission, 
numerous volumes of wills, and numerous volumes of mis- 
cellaneous documents. Three large private collections, the 
letters and papers of John H. Bryan, Calvin H. Wiley, and 
Jonathan Worth, were placed among the collections of the 

Although well aware that collecting, filing, and preserving 
had to be underway before the law to publish historical 
materials could be carried out, the Commission was able to 
begin a modest publishing program at once. A pamphlet en- 
titled The Beginnings of English America: Sir Walter Ra- 
leigh's Settlements on Roanoke Island, 1584-1587, was issued 
in time for the Jamestown Exposition. A more ambitious 
undertaking was the substantial volume entitled Literary and 
Historical Activities in North Carolina, 1900-1905, which had 
been projected at the first meeting of the Commission. 

7 The Second Biennial Report of the North Carolina Historical Commis- 
sion, 1906-1908, 5. 

The First Half Century 189 

The Secretary also went to work at once on the assigned 
duties of marking and preserving historic sites, diffusing in- 
formation about North Carolina, and encouraging the study 
of North Carolina history. In this connection he endorsed the 
work in the field of history of the Colonial Dames, Sons of 
the Revolution, Daughters of the Revolution, Guilford Battle- 
ground Company, Wachovia Historical Society, United 
Daughters of the Confederacy, Hall of History, North Caro- 
lina Historical Society, and Trinity Historical Society. The 
North Carolina Booklet, published by the Daughters of the 
Revolution, received special notice as the only periodical in 
North Carolina devoted exclusively to the history of the state. 

The three patriotic organizations which, with the collabo- 
ration of the Historical Commission, presented the North 
Carolina exhibit at the Jamestown Exposition were con- 
gratulated by Secretary Connor. According to one of the 
custodians, more visitors sought out the North Carolina ex- 
hibit than any other in the History Building: "From various 
sections of the Union came persons who found there informa- 
tion of value to them personally. As an educational factor 
the success was complete, and it is believed that this en- 
grossing work will greatly aid in developing the historical 
awakening already begun in our midst." 8 

Despite its meager appropriation, the Commission was 
able in 1908 to add an archivist to the paid staff. He devoted 
practically the whole of his time for the first two years to 
saving from destruction, classifying and filing some 14,000 
letters of the governors from Richard Caswell to Zebulon B. 
Vance. Collections of private papers were now being added 
so rapidly that not even the names of most of them can be 
mentioned here. The David L. Swain collection was describ- 
ed as "one of the most interesting and valuable collections of 
manuscripts in North Carolina history in existence." Similar 
words were written concerning the Charles E. Johnson col- 
lection, which contained the Iredell papers, and the large 
Vance collection. 

8 Quoted from Mary Hilliard Hinton, "The North Carolina Historical 
Exhibit at the Jamestown Exposition," in The Second Biennial Report of the 
North Carolina Historical Commission, 1906-1908, 11-12. 

190 The North Carolina Historical Review 

In 1910 Connor listed as an encouraging feature of his 
work the fact that students were beginning to find their way 
to the collections of the Commission and to make use of 
them in their investigations into North Carolina and Ameri- 
can history. Among those named were Samuel A. Ashe, 
Justin H. Smith, Archibald Henderson, J. G. deR. Hamilton, 
William H. Hoyt, and W. K. Boyd. 

Displaying a grim sense of humor, the Secretary added 
three extra pages to his regular 1910 report and introduced 
them with this statement: "I have next to report several 
'historical activities' of an entirely different character from 
any of the preceding, but which at this particular time are, 
perhaps, the most important of all." He then described six 
fires in which quantities of valuable papers had been de- 
stroyed. The concluding sentence read: "The inference to 
be drawn from these forms of 'activity' is so plain that I 
shall not offer any comment." 9 

Before the Commission had been at work a decade, the 
number of students who visited the office became so large 
that in view of the inadequate facilities this type of activity 
had to be discouraged. Storage space was also urgently need- 
ed. Relief came in 1914 when new quarters became available. 
On January 12 of that year the Commission began the re- 
moval of its collections from the room in the Capitol which 
it had occupied since July 1, 1907, to the second floor of the 
new State Administration Building (now the Library Build- 
ing) on Morgan Street. The assignment by the General As- 
sembly of these spacious, fireproof halls was a significant rec- 
ognition of the necessity for properly caring for the state's 
archives and historical collections, and of the important place 
which the Commission had won in the lives of North Car- 

With the acquisition of new quarters, the control of the 
Historical Museum, more commonly known as the Hall of 
History, was transferred from the State Museum to the His- 
torical Commission. On February 18, 1914, Fred A. Olds, 
collector of the Historical Museum, began the transfer of over 

9 The Third Biennial Report of the North Carolina Historical Commission, 
1908-1910, 1-12, 23. 

The First Half Century 191 

11,000 objects from the old hall to new halls on the second 
floor of the State Administration Building. 

The act creating the Historical Commission had author- 
ized local and county officials to deposit their non-current 
records with the Commission for preservation. Notwith- 
standing the fact that most of the counties were not pre- 
pared to take proper care of such records, they had been 
slow to take advantage of this opportunity. But when the 
Commission became better known and acquired adequate 
facilities, many valuable local and county records did come 
into its collections. 

A further illustration of the fact that by the time of the 
first World War the Historical Commission had become fully 
established as the State's chief agency for various types of 
historical activity may be found in the story of the North 
Carolina Confederate History Fund. On October 20, 1915, 
the North Carolina Division, United Confederate Veterans, 
adopted a resolution providing for the raising of a fund of 
$25,000 to be devoted to the preparation of a history of North 
Carolina's part in the War between the States. The resolu- 
tion provided that when the amount had been raised it 
should be turned over to the North Carolina Historical Com- 
mission, with the request that the Commission select a suit- 
able person for the work and supervise the expenditure of 
the fund. Robert H. Ricks of Rocky Mount donated the en- 
tire sum and the Commission entered into a contract with 
Daniel Harvey Hill, who resigned as president of North 
Carolina State College, to undertake this work. At the time 
of his death in 1924 Hill had completed the history only 
through the battle of Sharpsburg, September, 1862. The 
Commission made arrangements with J. G. de R. Hamilton to 
edit this material and write an introductory chapter, which 
he did. 10 

The Historical Commission acquired another new duty 
when in 1915 the position of Legislative Reference Librarian 
was created. After Secretary of State J. Bryan Grimes, chair- 
man of the Commission, and Senator Frank Thompson, who 

10 Sixth Biennial Report of the North Carolina Historical Commission, 
1914-1916, 16; The North Carolina Historical Commission: Forty Years of 
Public Service, 1903-19 US, 25. 

192 The North Carolina Historical Review 

introduced the bill, had persuaded the General Assembly 
that a Legislative Reference Librarian was "one of the most 
necessary officers in North Carolina," it unanimously passed 
an act creating this office. The Historical Commission was 
authorized and required to appoint a qualified person to 
collect, tabulate, annotate, and digest information for the 
use of the General Assembly upon all questions of state, 
county, and municipal legislation. W. S. Wilson was the first 
to hold the post of Legislative Reference Librarian. From its 
creation in 1915 until its transfer in 1933 from the Historical 
Commission to the office of the Attorney General, the Legis- 
lative Reference Library issued thirty-six publications and 
answered thousands of inquiries. 11 

The Historical Commission recognized at the beginning 
of United States participation in the first World War the 
importance of undertaking to collect at once materials bear- 
ing upon the part taken by North Carolina soldiers and 
civilians in the struggle. Accordingly, a special history com- 
mittee, of which Connor was chairman, was appointed by 
the Commission and the North Carolina Council of Defense 
to collect for permanent preservation the war records of the 
state. The materials collected included letters, rosters, rec- 
ords of organizations, and many other types of materials. 
At the close of the war Robert Burton House became Col- 
lector of World War Records and soon completed a collec- 
tion numbering over 100,000 pieces. 

In 1919 William J. Peele, a member of the Commission 
since 1903, died, and to the vacancy thus created Governor 
T. W. Bickett appointed Frank Wood of Edenton. Wood 
made a valuable contribution to the work of the Commission 
by securing the splendid collection of Chowan County rec- 
ords. Connor, who had been Secretary of the Commission 
since its inception, resigned in 1921 to become Kenan Pro- 
fessor of History in The University of North Carolina. The 
Commission elected Daniel Harvey Hill, one of its members, 
Secretary, but he died in 1924 and was succeeded by Robert 
Burton House. Thomas M. Pittman had succeeded John 

u Sixth Biennial Report of the North Carolina Historical Commission, 
1914-1916, 20-21; The North Carolina Historical Commission: Forty Years 
of Public Service, 1903-19 US, 24-25. 

The First Half Century 193 

Bryan Grimes as chairman of the Commission the year be- 
fore. 12 

Already engaged in a broad program, the Commission 
added still another activity in January, 1924, when it launch- 
ed The North Carolina Historical Review as a medium for 
the publication and discussion of history in the state. Issued 
quarterly at the price of two dollars a year, the magazine had 
by January, 1925, gained a circulation of about one thousand. 
This was also approximately the circulation in 1952. 13 

During a meeting of the Commission on April 23, 1926, 
Secretary House resigned to accept the position of Executive 
Secretary of The University of North Carolina, effective 
July 1. Albert Ray Newsome was elected by the Commission 
to succeed him on that date. In a letter to the Commission 
dated April 23, 1926, House discussed a matter pertaining 
to the forthcoming budget that required immediate atten- 
tion. The General Assembly had increased the appropriation 
to $25,000 a year, but the work of the Commission had ex- 
panded until this sum was inadequate. Salaries and other 
fixed expenditures could be anticipated, but, wrote House, 
"the life of the Historical Commission is not a static thing. 
It not only serves through its routine work, but it is constant- 
ly finding out new things to do and new opportunities that 
must be taken advantage of at once." The incident to which 
House referred illustrates the techniques and problems of 
collecting for the archives. "During the past two years," he 
continued, "almost by complete accident, we have found 
existing in Spain one of the most startling collections of North 
Carolina records that has ever been found." He had applied 
all available funds to the copying of these records and still 
had about two thousand dollars to spend. There were, how- 
ever, many "manuscripts yet to be copied, both in England 
and Spain, and it is exceedingly expedient to copy those in 
Spain at once, because they are apt to be lost altogether if 
not copied now." House recommended that ten thousand 
dollars be requested for this work. 14 

12 A short paragraph on each member of the Commission from 1903 to 
1942 may be found in the forty year report. 

13 Tenth Biennial Report of the North Carolina Historical Commission, 
1922-1924, 8. 

14 This typescript letter is in the Library of Wake Forest College. 

194 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The person who found the Spanish documents was W. W. 
Pierson of The University of North Carolina. Even though 
the copying was prosecuted vigorously until July 1, 1926, it 
was not completed and the exhaustion of funds compelled its 
suspension at that time. Not until a new legislative appro- 
priation became available a year later was the making of 
photostatic copies of these records resumed. The delay proved 
to be serious, for on August 12, 1927, the work of the North 
Carolina Historical Commission, as well as that of many other 
agencies in this and other countries, was stopped abruptly by 
an order of the King of Spain prohibiting absolutely the 
copying of Spanish documents in series. But for the royal 
order, the Commission would have completed the project 
by July 1, 1928. But for the lack of funds, the project would 
have. been completed before King Alfonso XIII changed 
his mind. 15 

In accord with the duty prescribed by law of seeking "to 
stimulate and encourage historical investigation and research 
among the people of the State," the Historical Commission in 
May, 1927, began to secure the selection by Boards of Edu- 
cation of a county historian for each of the state's one hun- 
dred counties. So favorable was the response that seventy- 
two county historians were selected within a year. Several of 
these have completed and published significant studies. 

Only sixteen years after the Commission moved to the 
State Library Building, the Secretary wrote that its most 
pressing need was "enlarged filing facilities." He pointed out 
that the acquisition of much new manuscript material was 
being delayed by the inadequate facilities for mounting 
and filing. The Hall of History was unable to display much of 
its collection. He suggested a new building to house the 
historical, literary, and cultural agencies of the state. 16 Every 
year more persons were coming to consult the collections of 
records than had come the year before. During the biennium 
of 1930-1932, for example, 3,259 visits heavily taxed the 
facilities available for researchers. 

15 Twelfth Biennial Report of the North Carolina Historical Commission, 
1926-1928, 16. 

16 Thirteenth Biennial Report of the North Carolina Historical Commis- 
sion, 1928-1930, 46-47. 

The First Half Century 195 

The likelihood of obtaining a new building lessened with 
the coming of the depression. As a matter of fact, the General 
Assembly reduced the appropriation of the Commission 
about ten per cent in 1929-1930 and continued to lower it 
gradually until the reduction reached about seventy per cent 
in 1933-1934. By the latter year the total annual appropria- 
tion was down to $13,226. The lack of funds was felt most 
keenly by the publication program. Only routine reports and 
the magazine in reduced size survived. The continuation of 
the series of documentary volumes, universally recognized as 
one of the most important achievements, was entirely sus- 
pended. The worst was yet to come, for in 1934-1935 the 
appropriation was only $11,315, out of which the salaries of 
eight persons had to be paid. In each of the next three years 
there was a slight increase, but not until 1945-1946 did the 
appropriation exceed those of the late twenties. 

Effective October 10, 1934, President Roosevelt appointed 
R. D. W. Connor, former Secretary and at that time a mem- 
ber of the Commission, Archivist of the United States. This 
was probably the most significant national recognition that 
has come to the North Carolina Historical Commission. It 
was a tribute to the man who did more than anyone else 
to establish that institution on a high level of efficiency and 
to win for it wide recognition. 17 

Secretary Newsome resigned effective June 30, 1935, to 
become a professor in The University of North Carolina. The 
Commission then elected as Secretary, effective July 1, 1935, 
Christopher Crittenden, Assistant Professor of History in The 
University of North Carolina. Thus the man who has directed 
the work of the Commission for the past eighteen years as- 
sumed his duties at the time when available funds were at 
a minimum and other problems such as the shortage of space 
had become acute. Gradually, in spite of difficulties, the ac- 
tivities which had been curtailed were resumed and new 
programs were launched. 

Among the latter was a new historical marker program. 
One of the duties of the Commission was to "care for the 

17 Sixteenth Biennial Report of the North Carolina Historical Commission, 
193^-1936, 28. 

196 The North Carolina Historical Review 

proper marking and preservation of battle-fields, houses, 
and other places celebrated in the history of the state." 
By the time of the depression many markers had been estab- 
lished by the Commission or under its direction. These in- 
cluded the marble busts of William A. Graham, Matt W. 
Ransom, Samuel Johnston, and John Motley Morehead in 
the rotunda of the State Capitol, and a plaster replica of 
Canova's statue of George Washington, which was also first 
displayed in the Capitol. The original had been destroyed 
when the old State House burned in 1831. The Commission 
also assisted in the establishment of an imposing North Caro- 
lina monument on the battlefield at Gettysburg. 

Beginning in 1917, each General Assembly appropriated 
$2,500 a year for historical markers and authorized the ex- 
penditure by the Commission of not over $100 for any one 
marker, provided at least an equal amount was obtained 
from some other source. Under this program, which terminat- 
ed in 1929, fifty-six tablets and monuments were erected. 

Then in 1935 came legislative authorization for the new 
roadside historical marker. Under this plan the necessary 
research was done by the staff of the Historical Commission, 
the sites to be marked were selected and the inscriptions 
were written by a group of historians, the markers were cast 
under the direction of the Department of Conservation and 
Development, and they were erected by the Highway and 
Public Works Commission. The program got under way in 
1935 with an appropriation of $5,000 from the Highway 
Fund, and, except for the period 1942-1947 when suspended 
because of the shortage of metals, it has continued to date. 
By 1952 the cost of a marker had increased from $40 to $85 
and the annual appropriation to $10,000. More than 700 
roadside markers have now been erected. 

Between 1933 and 1942, by sponsoring various Federal 
relief projects, the Commission was able to accomplish ob- 
jectives which, with its own small staff, it could not have un- 
dertaken. Materials in the Hall of History were catalogued, 
approximately 250,000 marriage bonds in the Commission's 
archives were indexed, and diaries were copied. Excellent 
guide books to the state as a whole and to several of its 

The First Half Century 197 

communities were prepared and published. Indian mounds 
were excavated, and several buildings were erected on the 
site of Fort Raleigh, on Roanoke Island. A card index of the 
125,000 names in John W. Moore's Roster of North Carolina 
Troops in the War Between the States was prepared. 

Most significant of all the Federal relief projects sponsored 
by the Commission was the Historical Records Survey. By 
1942 it had prepared inventories of the records of all the 
state's counties, and these inventories had been published 
in three volumes edited by Christopher Crittenden and Dan 
Lacy. It had made inventories of the chief public manuscript 
collections in the state. It had prepared and published in- 
ventories of the records of several of the Associations of the 
Baptist State Convention. It had collected and placed in 
the search room an alphabetical file of vital statistics from 
more than 225,000 tombstones in every part of the state. 18 

The successful movement for the new quarters which the 
Commission had long needed got under way in 1936. The 
State Literary and Historical Association passed a resolution 
authorizing its president, W. T. Laprade, to appoint a com- 
mittee to bring to the attention of the General Assembly at 
its forthcoming session the Commission's need for more 
space. The committee laid the matter before the governor. 
Several departments of the state government also voiced 
their needs. After the recommendation of the governor had 
been submitted, the General Assembly appropriated $675,000 
for the construction of a new building. This structure, known 
now as the Education Building, was completed in 1939. The 
Historical Commission occupied the first floor and about one- 
half of the ground floor, space which had been especially de- 
signed and equipped for its use. 

By virtue of an act passed in 1941 the size of the Commis- 
sion was increased from five to seven. In 1943 the General 
Assembly changed the name of the Commission to State De- 
partment of Archives and History. It was believed that the 
new title, by emphasizing the agency's archival work, better 
described its functions, and also, by substituting the word 

18 The North Carolina Historical Commission : Forty Years of Public 
Service, 1903-19 %8, 40-41. 

198 The North Carolina Historical Review 

"Department" for "Commission," recognized its importance 
and permanence. 19 In 1945 the General Assembly revised the 
basic act under which the Department operated. Although 
the new act made no drastic changes in the functions and 
duties of the Department, it did give the governing body the 
name "Executive Board" instead of "Commission," and alter- 
ed the title of the executive officer from "Secretary" to 

About the time these changes were being effected the 
Commission published a pamphlet entitled The North Caro- 
lina Historical Commission: Forty Years of Public Service, 
1903-1943. This informative booklet presents a comprehen- 
sive view of the various activities in which the Commission 
engaged. Following the historical introduction is a partial in- 
ventory of materials in the Commission's archives. To il- 
lustrate, the legislative papers, covering the period from 
1689 to 1900 and consisting of bills, petitions, data on con- 
tested elections, and many other types of materials, totaled 
no less than 1,660 boxes and volumes. The records from the 
various counties, consisting of more than 5,000 volumes and 
boxes, included wills; inventories of estates; deeds; minutes, 
dockets, and file papers of the various courts; marriage 
bonds; lists of taxables; common school reports; and other 

A systematic effort had been made to secure an original 
or a copy of every known map relating to North Carolina, 
from the earliest recorded times. By 1942 there were 1,700 
maps in the archives. The secretary and his staff had also 
sought to obtain an original or photostat of every known 
issue of a North Carolina newspaper published before 1801. 
By 1942 the archives contained an estimated total of 12,565 
issues of newspapers. 

Regarding the use that had been made of the collections, 
the forty year report listed the authors and titles of fifty- 
seven published monographs and general works relating to 
North Carolina that were based in whole or in part upon re- 
search done in the archives. As the result of the publication 

10 Twentieth Biennial Report of the North Carolina State Department of 
Archives and History, 19 1+2-19 UU, 7. 

The First Half Century 199 

of these and other studies, the history of North Carolina was 
becoming much better known, and various misconceptions 
of the state and its past had been corrected. 

In forty years the Commission had published 32 volumes of 
historical documents, calendars or inventories; 12 legislative 
manuals; 53 pamphlets and leaflets; 74 numbers of The North 
Carolina Historical Review; and 54 other items, making a 
total of 225. In 1952 this figure reached 292. The importance 
of such works as the Records of the Moravians in North Caro- 
lina or The Papers of Archibald D. Murphey needs only be 
mentioned to be immediately appreciated. 

Throughout World War II the Department sought, in 
spite of abnormal conditions, to carry out the customary 
duties and to find new ones. The Hall of History was kept 
open on week ends, when it was visited by tens of thousands 
of men and women in the armed forces, as well as by the 
general public. A program for collecting war records was 
pursued, and as a result a large and valuable collection of 
materials relating to the part played by the state in the war 
was brought together. 

Gradually the difficulties born of war subsided and the 
Department entered into a period of steady and solid prog- 
ress. Perhaps the outstanding item collected after the war 
was the charter of Carolina, 1663, purchased for more than 
$6,000 and presented to the Department by a group of citi- 
zens of the state. An event that aroused a great deal of public 
interest was the unveiling on Capitol Square in Raleigh 
October 19, 1948, of a monument to the three Presidents of 
the United States born or reared in North Carolina— Andrew 
Jackson, James Knox Polk, and Andrew Johnson. 

Compared with the small beginnings of a half century ago, 
the Department is today a complex organization engaged in 
large-scale activities. The money spent annually has in- 
creased from $500 to more than $160,000, the staff from one 
to twenty-nine, and the space occupied from one room to 
a large section of a modern building. 

The Department's broad policies are controlled by an 
Executive Board of seven members appointed by the gov- 
ernor for overlapping terms of six years each. The members 

200 The North Carolina Historical Review 

at present are Benjamin Franklin Brown, chairman, Gertrude 
Carraway, Clarence W. Griffin, William Thomas Laprade, 
McDaniel Lewis, Mrs. Sadie Smathers Patton, and Mrs. 
Callie Pridgen Williams. The Board elects a Director, now 
Christopher Crittenden, and under him and his immediate 
staff the work is carried on by three Divisions: Archives and 
Manuscripts, Museums, and Publications. 

Under the management of W. Frank Burton, State Ar- 
chivist, the Division of Archives and Manuscripts is respon- 
sible for preservation of records, reference service, and 
modern records management. The Division of Museums, 
under Mrs. Joye E. Jordan, Museum Administrator, is con- 
cerned primarily with the visual presentation of state history 
and the preservation of historical objects. Last year ap- 
proximately 100,000 persons visited the Hall of History. The 
Division of Publications, with D. L. Corbitt, a veteran in 
the service of the Department, as Editor, is responsible for 
the publication and distribution of documentary volumes, 
pamphlets, leaflets, and The Review. In a single year about 
14,000 copies of the Department's publications are mailed. 
The Historical Marker Program, with Edwin A. Miles as Re- 
searcher, is under the Director of the Department but not a 
part of one of the Divisions. 

All who write or comment on the development of the De- 
partment of Archives and History agree that R. D. W. Connor 
contributed more than any other individual to its rise to a 
place of pre-eminence among agencies of this type. It is 
also agreed that under Christopher Crittenden the Depart- 
ment has not only continued to perform faithfully and ef- 
fectively the important duties assigned it in earlier days, but 
has found significant new ways of making the people of 
North Carolina aware of their history. 


By Hoke Norris 

I am certain that I describe not alone my own reaction 
but that of all your judges when I say that this duty we have 
performed— or rather, this privilege which has been given 
us— has led to an amazing and prideful revelation. 

In a past now happily somewhat distant, H. L. Mencken 
published an essay called "The Sahara of the Bozart." His 
subject was the culture of the South— or the South's lack 
of a culture. "Once we have counted James Branch Cabell," 
he wrote, . . . you will not find a single Southern prose 
writer who can actually write." This Sahara of the Bozart, 
he said, possessed not a single critic, musical composer, 
painter, sculptor, architect, philosopher, theologian, historian 
or scientist worthy of the name. 

The protests of course were instant and violent. The pride 
of a section noted for its pride had been deeply wounded. 
It was understandable that Southerners should resent an in- 
dictment of such character and of such magnitude. Yet in 
retrospect it must be granted that he was right. The South 
was virtually without a contemporary culture. Sentimentality, 
sweet romance, a fond and sad yearning for a past that per- 
haps never was— such we had in plenty, in the harmless and 
empty frauds of the few Southern writers who were or had 
been at work. Mencken, then, was like the psychiatrist who 
listened for a while to his patient, stepped back, looked him 
up and down and said, "My dear fellow, you don't have a 
complex. You are inferior." 

Of course we must discount about 50 per cent of Mencken 
as showmanship. And he was referring to popular or general 
culture, not to such fields as the social sciences and scholar- 
ship. They have a long and distinguished history, at least 
in North Carolina. After those reservations are granted, per- 
haps with the passage of time and the softening of our pas- 
sions, we can without too much reluctance now admit the 
truth of Mencken's judgment. But if the South was asleep, 


202 The North Carolina Historical Review 

it was not long in awakening. Ten years after Mencken wrote 
"The Sahara of the Bozart," a North Carolinian was to pro- 
duce a work which should have alerted the rest of the 
literary world that something of importance and of great- 
ness was beginning in the South. Paul Green won the Pulitzer 
Prize in 1927 for his play "In Abraham's Bosom." Another 
North Carolinian was not long in arriving— Thomas Wolfe 
with Look Homeward Angel. I trust that the judges of North 
Carolina fiction will not consider that I am invading their 
province by references to these North Carolinians. Paul 
Green has of course done his magnificent best with facts 
in "The Lost Colony" and other symphonic dramas, and as 
our Asheville friends have told us, there was some doubt 
for a while whether Thomas Wolfe was writing fact or fic- 

I spoke of an amazing and prideful revelation. The truth 
began to dawn upon me at the writers' conference held at 
Boone in August. Forty or more North Carolina writers 
were there— and that was by no means all of the North Caro- 
lina writers. Their number included novelists, short story 
writers, poets, essayists, critics, editors, anthologists, writers 
of non-fiction, and at least one compiler of a cook book. For 
North Carolina has furnished and is furnishing much of the 
impetus for the great southern literary movement, the South- 
ern Renaissance. We are all no doubt aware of the publish- 
er's complaint that southerners are now writing more books 
than they are reading. And sometimes it seems that we are 
writing better books than we are reading, if one is to believe 
the testimony of the newsstands. 

Yet I myself was not prepared for the statistics of this 
undertaking, nor for the statistics of the other awards. About 
100 writers are eligible for the six awards which are being 
presented in 1953—21 in non-fiction, 65 in fiction published 
since September 1, 1950, nine in juvenile fiction, 22 in 
poetry, several writers of local history, and contributors to 
The North Carolina Historical Review. That is a flood, and a 
welcome one. 

In preparing this report, I followed the example of a 
judge who preceded me, LeGette Blythe. He stacked the 

Non-Fiction Books of the Year 203 

books about his study according to several classifications. 
When I had surrounded myself with books, I found that I 
had five groups: biography and autobiography, history, 
scholarship, books of a religious nature, and that inevitable 
refuge of the perhaps lazy and unimaginative, miscellaneous. 
The classifications are in many cases arbitrary and perhaps 
inappropriate. Obviously some books fit into two groups or 
even more, but the job had to be done and I knew no better 
way to prepare for this summary. 

I am going to describe each book briefly, without title or 
name of author. Nothing I say here should be taken to in- 
dicate the name of the winner, for when I wrote this re- 
port, I didn't know who the winner was to be. My purpose 
is only to demonstrate the richness and the variety of the 
North Carolina harvest in non-fiction this year. 

First— in biography and autobiography, we have these six 

The story of a Negro boy growing up in Elizabeth City, 
going away to college and himself becoming a college teach- 
er and administrator. 

The biography of a man called aptly the Sunday School 
Man— a fat, jolly man of tremendous influence among south- 
ern Baptists. 

The biography of a notorious gangster who turned honest 
and became a bartender and eventually a police officer and 
crusader for prohibition. 

The story of a boy growing up in Galesburg, Illinois— a 
boy who eventually became a noted poet, singer of ballads 
and biographer of Lincoln. 

The tangled story of two brothers who left North Carolina 
in the middle of the nineteenth century, went west and 
made a fortune. 

The story of a woman doctor and her husband, also a 
doctor, who brought the blessings of modern medicine to 
an isolated mountain community. 

Second— in history, these five books: 

The story of four Indian kings who visited England during 
the reign of Queen Anne. 

204 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The history of the Cherokee Indians in North Carolina, 
their wars, their tragedies and their fulfilments. 

The history of the sugar industry in the Gulf states, par- 
ticularly in Louisiana, and its significance and influence in 
the lives of the people and of the nation. 

A study of democracy in pre-revolutionary Virginia— the 
cradle of our own democracy— a book demonstrating some 
rather startling truths about that colonial period. 

An account of the campaigns and administrations of David 
S. Reid, governor of North Carolina from 1848 to 1854. 

Third— scholarship, with these five books: 

An investigation of philosophy, of the origin and nature 
of man and God, and of the great systems of religion. 

A broad survey of philosophy, from the earliest times to 
the present with its problems of complexity and bigness and 
cataclysmic weapons. 

A study of the philosophy of William Ellery Channing, 
a leader in the New England Unitarian movement. 

An exhaustive listing of the silversmiths of Virginia from 
the early days to 1850. 

A book on the origins and significance of the names of 
several hundred American colleges and universities. 

Fourth— these three books of a religious nature: 

A book establishing the significance of Christ and His 
church in the lives of men. 

The story of how our Christmas symbols and customs came 
into being. 

A book of inspirational essays emphasizing the power and 
importance of love. 

And fifth— two books which I have classified as miscel- 

A book which might qualify as history and scholarship, 
because it is both— an important investigation of how power 
is wielded by a few men in a southern community. 

And a book about cooking— big cooking— a book for food 
managers and food handlers in institutions and restaurants. 

Non-Fiction Books of the Year 205 

Such is the list which your judges have considered this 
year. I am certain you are familiar with the title devised 
by the writer who wanted to guarantee that his book would 
be a best seller. After studying the lists, he decided that 
"Lincoln's Doctor's Dog" combined all the elements which 
would assure fame and prosperity. A title of the same sort 
was fabricated once upon a time by a non-fiction writer who 
set out to devise the one title that would encompass every- 
thing appearing or likely to appear in The Readers Digest. 
After hours of labor, he staggered from the typewriter bear- 
ing in his hand a sheet of paper on which was written, "How 
a Little Dog Cured Me of Hiccups and Led Me Back to 
God and Free Enterprise." 

No such title, I am sure, could be devised for the group 
of books which your judges read this year. This observation 
leads me to a discussion of a dilemma which I faced as a 
judge and which no doubt the other judges faced also. I 
raise this question in no spirit of complaint or criticism, 
but as a subject for your consideration. Many of the books 
on the non-fiction list had in common only the fact that they 
were written in the English language. That is, they were con- 
cerned with widely divergent subjects, and they addressed 
themselves to those subjects in widely different ways. Your 
judges faced the problem of considering them for a single 
prize. On the same basis, we had to judge a book about cook- 
ing, for instance, and books about philosophy; investigations 
of history, and accounts of the trials and tribulations of in- 
dividuals finding their way in the world. It was a serious 
problem, and one for which there may be no answer. 

We are already blessed in North Carolina with not one 
but six literary awards. Perhaps I should not propose that 
the list be extended. But perhaps it should be extended, so 
as to eliminate the dilemma which I have described, to end 
the conflict among books of different sorts competing for 
the same prize. If possible, it might be desirable at some 
time in the future, if other awards are provided, to establish 
separate classifications for biography and autobiography, 
for history, for scholarship. 

206 The North Carolina Historical Review 

However, as I said, I am not complaining. Who would 
complain about an embarrassment of riches? We need not 
fewer books but more books. We need them now as never 
before, to guide us through the complexities and the dangers 
of Twentieth Century life. We need them to combat the 
foul breath of oppression that might come from without and 
has already manifested itself within. As Jonathan Daniels 
once observed, man has not yet absorbed the impact of the 
wheel. We need only look at the newspapers to learn how 
many persons our four-wheeled vehicles are killing every 
day. If we are still baffled by the wheel, it's small wonder 
that some men— even some Americans— have not yet learned 
the meaning of a more recent thing, freedom. If it seems 
incredible that some of us do not yet know its meaning, 
look again to your daily newspaper, and read about the mal- 
factors of great power, the symptoms of what we aptly call 
McCarthyism. Our big technological civilization, our big 
government, our big country, our small world must have 
their balance in thought, in scholarship, in creative art, all 
of them free to follow truth wherever it may lead. 

At this point, in concluding, I offer a few words from one 
of the books submitted in competition for the Mayflower 
Cup— "We train medical technicians to make us healthier, 
but, alas, we tend to despair of training technicians to make 
us wiser; they can only teach us 'know how' and not 'know 
why.' To know why, a person needs a certain amount of 
technical training in critical analysis and judicious synthesis; 
but beyond that, 'know why' can only be obtained through 
a process that goes counter to technical training ( which con- 
centrates on the specific ) . The process is one of constructing 
a world view— a synthesis in terms of which the 'why' be- 
comes meaningful— a synthesis of the most general prin- 
ciples of all branches of knowledge." 

Of making many books may there be no end, in North 
Carolina and in all the world. 


By Richard Walser 

In 1905, almost a half century ago, John Charles McNeill 
was awarded the first literary prize within the state of 
North Carolina. In a ceremony at the Capitol, he received 
the William Houston Patterson Memorial Cup, 1 instituted 
the year before by Mrs. J. Lindsay Patterson, from the 
hands of President Theodore Roosevelt, who was in Raleigh 
on that October day. McNeill's poems were later issued in 
book form as Songs Merry and Sad, but this first award was 
the last to be given for a manuscript. 

We can certainly believe that in 1905 there were not many 
literary efforts to choose from, though the McNeill honor was 
one of the most successful ever given. The paucity of entries 
then is contrasted today by an amazingly large number. 
Almost a hundred books and brochures are in competition 
in 1953. The times have changed indeed. 

Since the beginning, the State Literary and Historical 
Association has always undertaken to supervise the competi- 
tions, though the physical awards themselves have been 
purchased and sponsored by other state organizations. The 
history of the cups has been an unusual one. 

For eight years after the awarding of the last Patterson 
Cup in 1922, 2 there was no recognition of literary talent in 
North Carolina. In 1931 the Society of Mayflower Descend- 
ants in North Carolina initiated a new cup, which is today 
displayed in the Hall of History along with all the other 

* This paper has been revised to include comments on the 1953 winners. 

1 William Burlie Brown, "The State Literary and Historical Association," 
North Carolina Historical Review, XXVIII (April, 1951), 174. 

2 Brown, "The State Literary and Historical Association," 194. Besides 
McNeill, winners were Edwin Mims, Kemp Plummer Battle, Samuel A'Court 
Ashe, Clarence Poe (twice), R. D. W. Connor, Archibald Henderson, 
Horace Kephart, J. G. de R. Hamilton, William Louis Poteat, Olive Tilford 
Dargan, Winifred Kirkland, and Josephus Daniels. No awards were made in 
1916, 1918, 1919, and 1921. Brown is in error when listing Winifred Kirk- 
land's The New Death as the 1920 winner; it was her book The View Verti- 
cal and Other Essays which was cited; see "Asheville Woman Declared 
Winner of Patterson Cup," News and Observer (Raleigh), Dec. 4, 1920. 


208 The North Carolina Historical Review 

awards, including the Patterson Cup. After 1931 the May- 
flower Society honored a single book each December. 3 

Even in 1931 there were not many volumes in the compe- 
tition; but later in the decade when the number of entries 
increased appreciably, talk was already going the rounds that 
the judges could not fairly choose between a work of fiction 
and of non-fiction. 

Many years passed before the Mayflower Society decided 
to alternate the awards in fiction and non-fiction every other 
December. But by this time, the entries had become so num- 
erous that the plan did not seem sufficiently broad to honor 
North Carolina's increasing number of writers. Then it was 
that the Historical Book Club of Greensboro began to study 
the situation seriously and eventually agreed to provide the 
Sir Walter Raleigh Award for fiction (including poetry, 
drama, and the short story), 4 leaving non-fiction entirely to 
the Mayflower competition. 

The first Raleigh Award was given in 1952 to Paul Green 
for the total of his literary achievement; and since there had 
been no competition in fiction for 1951 and since the Paul 
Green citation was not competitive, the judges in 1953 found 
themselves with a backlog of three years' accumulation of 
books for consideration. Not till 1954, then, will the annual 
awards be running smoothly. 

Meanwhile, a committee was appointed to look into the 
matter of awards; and from deliberations there, at least three 
other prizes were recommended. 

First, a special award in poetry was suggested. Not since 
1917 had a book of poems been accorded recognition in 
the annual literary celebrations. At that time the winner was 
Olive Tilford Dargan for her sonnet-sequence The Cycles 

8 Mayflower Cup winners (1931-1952) were M. C. S. Noble, Archibald 
Henderson, Rupert B. Vance, Eric W. Zimmerman, James Boyd, Mitchell B. 
Garrett, Richard H. Shryock, Jonathan Daniels (twice), Bernice Kelly 
Harris, David L. Cohn, Wilbur J. Cash, Elbert Russell, J. Saunders Red- 
ding, Adelaide L. Fries, Josephus Daniels, Josephina Niggli, Robert E. 
Coker, Charles S. Sydnor, Phillips Russell, Max Steele, and John McKnight. 
See North Carolina Authors: a Selective Handbook (1952), 135-136. 

4 Only four books of fiction received the Mayflower Cup : works by James 
Boyd, Bernice Kelly Harris, Josephina Niggli, and Max Steele. A possible 
fifth is Adelaide L. Fries' The Road to Salem, which though written in 
the form of a novel, is based solidly on authentic documents. 

Awards in Literature and History 209 

Rim. 5 Though the publication of poetry had constantly been 
an engaging activity in North Carolina, the slender little 
volumes were overlooked in the competition with heavier 
tomes. Even so, thirty-five years seemed too long a time to 
neglect poetry. Last spring a group of writers and artists in 
northeastern North Carolina, calling themselves the 
Roanoke-Chowan group and looking about for a good cause 
to sponsor, decided to donate the poetry award. The new 
Roanoke-Chowan Cup is to have engraved on it annually 
the author and title of the best book of poetry written by a 
resident North Carolinian. 

A new area of literary activity which has risen sharply in 
the last decade is the writing of juvenile books. They, too, 
had been overlooked in competition with weightier works. 6 
After the committee had suggested a second special award, 
the American Association of University Women, North Caro- 
lina Division, some of whose members had been interested 
for a long time in such a recognition, came forward with 
the plan that they be allowed to provide a mahogany and 
silver scroll for the Hall of History and individual cups for 
the winners. 

A third award also was proposed for the undergraduate 
or graduate student in North Carolina who had written the 
best article of research in North Carolina history to be pub- 
lished in The North Carolina Historical Review. It was 
decided to name this prize the R. D. W. Connor Award to 
perpetuate the memory of a great student and teacher of 
North Carolina history. A yearly cash prize of $25 was to be 
given the winner by the State Literary and Historical Asso- 

Meanwhile, outside the awards set in motion by the parent 
organization, the North Carolina Society of County and 
Local Historians provided a competition within its own 
group. This was the D. T. Smithwick Award, donated by an 
energetic member in Louisburg long interested in promoting 
the writing of local histories. While the State Literary and 

5 Only McNeill and Mrs. Dargan had been cited for poetry till the special 
award in 1953. 

6 No strictly juvenile book had ever been cited till 1953. 

210 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Historical Association did not help in setting up the Smith- 
wick Award, it applauded heartily from the sidelines. 

And so, in 1953, after many years of keen competition for 
only one literary prize, the field was opened widely; and 
North Carolina can now do justice to many of those who have 
been responsible for her literary renaissance of the last 
quarter century. In 1953, instead of the usual one person, 
nine people were cited in announcing the winners of the six 

The oldest award, the Mayflower, went to Miracle in the 
Hills by Dr. Mary T. Martin Sloop of Crossnore as written 
by LeGette Blythe of Hunters ville. This collaborative auto- 
biography-biography of a famous North Carolina woman 
talking out her story to a famous North Carolina writer is a 
most happy selection from a notable list of twenty-two en- 
tries. Most of the words in the winning book are Dr. Sloop's; 
but the organization, the writing, and the artistic presenta- 
tion of her life as a woman doctor crusading for health and 
education among our mountain people are all Mr. Blythe's. 
The volume has already been widely acclaimed, was a book- 
club selection, and doubtless will find an even wider audience 
when it is issued in one of the popular paper-back series. 

The judges of the one-year-old Sir Walter Raleigh Award 
for fiction found themselves in a dilemma when they con- 
ferred to pick a winner. There were sixty-five entries in the 
three-year backlog. Though they relegated poetry and juve- 
nile books to the special new awards (actually both were 
eligible for the Sir Walter Raleigh Cup), the eighteen re- 
maining novels and volumes of short stories still presented a 
problem. It was then that the judges made a decision which 
was entirely unheard of until this year. They picked two 
winners. They found their authority in the regulations for 
the Sir Walter Raleigh Award in the clause which provided 
that a citation could be made for "an author of outstanding 
literary achievement over a period of years." While those 
words seemed to fit Inglis Fletcher of Edenton so well that 
they could not be ignored, the judges were hopelessly in love, 
as all readers must be, with that delightful book of short 
stories The Finer Things of Life by Frances Gray Patton of 

Awards in Literature and History 211 

Durham. From comments heard, the board of judges could 
not have performed their task better. 

Two of Inglis Fletcher's books were in this year's compe- 
tition, Queens Gift and Bennett's Welcome; but to have 
singled out either, or to have kept silent about the earlier 
novels of the monumental seven-book Carolina Series which 
began with Raleigh's Eden in 1940, would not have been 
justified. Thus the "outstanding literary achievement" phrase, 
which had brought the cup to Paul Green in 1952, was called 
into action. 

The title of Mrs. Patton's book is, consequently, the first 
book-title to be engraved on the new Sir Walter Raleigh Cup. 
Surely no one book from a North Carolina writer has received 
more critical acclaim in the last three years than Mrs. Patton's 
group of stories about the sometimes not so placid lives of 
the educated middle-class of this state. The Raleigh Award 
could not have had a more propitious beginning than to have 
led off with Paul Green, Inglis Fletcher, and Frances Gray 
Patton's The Finer Things of Life. 

With twenty-five books of poetry from which to choose 
the winner of the Roanoke-Chowan Cup, the judges picked 
Abel Anders by Frank Borden Hanes of Winston-Salem. It 
is a most ambitious effort, a book-length narrative of the 
frustrations and ambitions of a man growing up in Piedmont 
North Carolina and of his dilemma as he is caught in the 
cross-currents and drives of himself and those about him. 
Parenthetically, it should be mentioned that Mr. Hanes had 
two books entered; the other, titled The Bat Brothers, was 
published early in 1953. 

Nineteen juvenile books were in competition— the win- 
ners) a husband-and-wife team, Ruth and Latrobe Carroll 
of Asheville. Though the Carrolls also had another entry 
Salt and Pepper, the winner was declared to be Peanut. 
Beautifully illustrated in black and rust, this tale for young- 
sters seven to ten years old is about a tiny dog named 
Peanut, who is happy until jealousy of a Great Dane makes 
him run away with a family of field mice. Peanut was cited by 
the Neto York Times Book Review as one of the best juvenile 
books of the year. Its selection portends well for the new 

212 The North Carolina Historical Review 

A.A.U.W. award by a statewide organization which wishes, 
through its sponsorship of juvenile literature, to bring to the 
attention of North Carolina the good work being done in 
that field by writers in the State. 

The R. D. W. Connor Award for an article of original re- 
search in North Carolina history was won by Hugh F. 
Rankin, a doctoral candidate in history at The University of 
North Carolina, for his excellent treatise "The Moore's 
Creek Bridge Campaign, 1776." Again, the State Literary 
and Historical Association hopes the initiation of this award 
will stir more writing in North Carolina history. 

After presentation of the first poetry, juvenile, and history- 
article prizes, at the morning meeting of the 1953 assembly 
of the Association, but before the Mayflower and Raleigh 
announcements at the evening session, the North Carolina 
Society of County and Local Historians, in its own conclave, 
presented the Smithwick Award. John A. Oates of Fayette- 
ville received the award for his 900-page exhaustive book 
The Story of Fayetteville and the Upper Cape Fear. Covering 
225 years of history in Cumberland and the surrounding 
counties, it is certainly one of the most complete studies of 
its kind ever written. Mr. Oates had spent a lifetime gather- 
ing his material, and his volume will be a permanent source- 
book for all who work in the field he has so painstakingly 

Six awards, and nine persons cited instead of one! The half 
century of changes between John Charles McNeill and the 
1953 winners is indicative of the growth of literature and 
writing and recorded history in North Carolina. Already 
authors are busy at work preparing books and studies to be 
entered in next year's competitions. Again the field will be 
rich, but no one can deny that 1953 is a banner year. 

All the awards are indicative, also, of North Carolina's 
literary eminence; but particularly they focus attention on 
books and history in a state which has been said often to 
write more than she reads. It is hoped that the citations 
will encourage Tar Heels to peruse the winning entries as 
well as to make books themselves. 


By Dougald MacMillan 

I have been asked to discuss the books submitted in com- 
petition for the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for fiction, the 
Roanoke-Chowan Award for poetry, and the Association of 
University Women's Award for books for children. Most of 
these works are interesting, several seem to me to be good, 
and a few very good indeed. This situation is very different 
from that which existed when this society was founded. Fifty 
years ago, for instance, few professional writers lived in the 
state; and most of them did not produce works that would 
be eligible to enter the contests we are now considering. 
Today we are reviewing in these groups 65 works of 46 
authors. All of these authors live in North Carolina, writing 
is the profession of many of them, and they have written a 
great variety of works. We have before us historical novels, 
prose tales of local life, two novels in verse, songs and son- 
nets, verses in unconventional forms, and tales for children. 

This means that the literary productions of North Caro- 
linians have been exceedingly diverse. It shows, also, that 
though we all live in the same place, we do not all think 
alike or write alike by any means. It may also be taken to 
represent the characteristic diversity of the topography and 
the life of the state, a diversity that we should rightly be 
proud of and encourage. Since I am a native myself, I am 
pleased to see that a large proportion of these books were 
written by native North Carolinians; I am also glad to ob- 
serve that a large number of the best works before us have 
been written by persons who have come from other places 
to live with us. 

Before I begin to examine these books, I should like to 
make a personal remark, which may be taken as an excuse 
for my bad judgment if some of you find that you do not 
agree with me. I was very much surprised to be asked to 

* Including poetry, drama, and juvenile fiction. 


214 The North Carolina Historical Review 

make this speech; I should have thought of myself as one of 
the last North Carolinians to be thought capable of making it. 
As a teacher of literature written in the more or less remote 
past, I am but slightly acquainted with the writings of my 
contemporaries. I almost never read the books written by my 
friends and neighbors. This deprives me of comparative cri- 
teria for judging contemporary writings; perhaps it also 
leaves me free from prejudices except those incidental to my 
temperament and profession. At any rate, I have enjoyed 
reading these books and I am pleased and flattered to be 
asked to talk to you about them. 

We may take up first the works of fiction. Novels and short 
stories can generally be divided into two classes on the 
basis of the times of their settings. Those which show action 
that is represented as taking place in a remote period, a 
period of which the author does not have personal knowl- 
edge from his own experience, are generally called historical; 
others that represent action taking place within the experi- 
ence of the author are given no such descriptive name. 

The group of historical novels that we are considering 
contains seven titles: LeGette Blythe's A Tear for Judas, two 
by Mrs. Fletcher, two by Burke Davis, James Street's The 
Velvet Doublet, and Brenda Cannon's Strength of the Hills. 
The periods and places described as background for their 
action vary widely. One shows Palestine in the first century; 
one is centered around the discovery of America and shows 
old Spain and the New World at the close of the fifteenth 
century; four are set in Colonial America, Virginia and North 
Carolina between the middle of the seventeenth century and 
the end of the eighteenth; and one shows North Carolina dur- 
ing the latter half of the nineteenth century. This spread of 
interests from Palestine in the first century to North Caro- 
lina just after the Civil War reflects the range of the re- 
searches of LeGette Blythe, James Street, Inglis Fletcher, 
Burke Davis, and Brenda Cannon. 

The settings of the rest of the novels and stories show more 
recent time, within the memory of most of us, but the place- 
settings vary greatly. One novel gives a picture of China dur- 
ing the 1920's. I do not know anything about China myself, 

A Review of North Carolina Fiction 215 

but I found the setting very effectively sketched and con- 
vincingly related to characters and action, with fine percep- 
tion of the varying effects of environment on the tempera- 
ments of different persons in the same circumstances. A 
small city, apparently in Kentucky, serves as the background 
for another novel, in which I think the author shows the 
effect on the characters of the transition from the relatively 
simple life of the 1890's into the twentieth century and more 
complex environment of our own times. In this novel the 
city itself becomes something more than mere background- 
some of its enduring qualities being personified in the char- 
acters. An unidentified college town in the Middle West is 
the setting of a third novel on our list. North Carolina, the 
place of the action for most of the rest, provides the follow- 
ing backgrounds: several sections of the mountains, a com- 
munity near Raleigh, an area containing parts of Anson and 
Stanly counties, Durham, and Mrs. Patton's Stonesboro. All 
of these show the writers' intimate knowledge of their own 
sections, which they represent with sympathy and sometimes 
with humor. They provide the local color that gives these 
tales charm and contributes to their local popularity. We may 
look therefore among these stories of contemporary life in 
North Carolina for the most characteristic expression of re- 
gionalism in the literary art of this state. 

In these settings, romantically distant or prosaically near- 
by, the characters and the action they are involved in give 
the reader the theme, the thesis, or the message which the 
author wishes to convey. In some cases this is quite explicit. 
Mrs. Fletcher, for instance, and, somewhat less palpably, 
Mr. Davis, in their portrayal of the men and women who 
populated the English colonies and revolted against the 
crown, show the struggle and triumph of the common man 
in America against privilege and tyranny during our Colonial, 
Revolutionary, and Early Federal periods. The firm character 
of these early inhabitants of the state and their persistent 
adherence to liberal convictions provide the useful lessons 
of history for guidance in equally troubled times to those 
readers who will discern the implications of these accounts 
of adventure in years long past. 

216 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Childhood recollections interpreted in the light of later 
experience are a common and fine source of fiction. A num- 
ber of these novels now before us appear to be based on 
them. Mrs. Harris's Wild Cherry Tree Road thus shows the 
normal and the eccentric persons and the usual and the ex- 
traordinary doings of her community with faithful and un- 
derstanding exactness. Here we should place Mrs. Irving' s 
The Golden Hammock, Mr. Knox's Little Benders, and Mr. 
Ross's Jackson Mahaffey. Mrs. Patton's stories, too, thus show 
with humor and light irony, the daily lives, the ideals, and 
the prejudices, of college professors' families now and of 
"representative" people a few years ago. They provide a fine 
expression of our characteristic provincialism, which Mrs. 
Patton sees so accurately and presents so urbanely. 

Somewhat different in quality are psychological interpre- 
tations of character, in many ways after all the finest prod- 
ucts of a literary interpretation of life. Such great works as 
Hamlet and Middlemarch belong to this sort of writing. I do 
not see before us a Shakespeare or a George Eliot at the 
moment. We do have here among these novels some fine 
attempts at psychological characterization. Here I would put 
Miss Rogers' sensitive and perceptive studies, particularly 
the Chinese girl and her mother in The Storm Cloud and the 
young lady and her companions in affliction in Landscape of 
the Heart. Here, too, belongs Mr. Macauley's thoughtful and 
incisive interpretation of three characters, father, mother, 
and son, in Disguises of Love. 

Somehow, I had got the notion that contemporary writers, 
particularly young writers, were interested in technical ex- 
periments. This doesn't seem to be the case in North Caro- 
lina. Technically most of our works of fiction are conven- 
tional, though there are some exceptions. The blends of his- 
tory and fiction generally follow the line laid down in Waver- 
ley, a plan from which few historical novelists have been 
able to escape since Sir Walter Scott forged their bonds. 
Nevertheless some do incline toward historical documenta- 
tion and some lean toward journalism. And I might say 
parenthetically, I think Mr. Davis's account of the surrender 
and evacuation of Yorktown is a very fine piece of reporting. 

A Review of North Carolina Fiction 217 

One escape from Scott's formula, that tried by Thackeray 
in Henry Esmond a hundred years ago, is to have the prin- 
cipal character write his own memoirs. Now, Mr. Street has 
done this effectively in The Velvet Doublet; and here he has 
maintained the point of view of the narrator with technical 
dexterity and preserved the impression of writing in a foreign 
language with remarkable effect and incredible consistency. 
An interesting handling of the technical feature known as 
point of view is that used by Mr. Macauley. In Disguises of 
Love he tells the same story as it appears while it is going 
on to three related but different people, each intimately con- 
cerned with the outcome and each ignorant of the others' 
reaction to the situation they are in. The academically trained 
reader will probably be reminded of The Ring and the Book. 

Mr. Hanes's tales in verse, Abel Anders and The Bat 
Brothers, are probably the most unconventional works of 
the lot. Here the telling is seldom straight narrative, the 
characterization is often of the stream-of-consciousness 
variety, and the works are held together and interpreted by 
lyrics that resemble, for want of a better comparison, Greek 
choral odes. The result is certainly interesting, though I 
must admit that I find it sometimes very bewildering. 

I cannot qualify as a critic of writings for children, but I 
have read those now before us with a good deal of interest. 
There are a great many of them, but written by only nine 
authors. Each writer of books for children seems to have his 
own formula for the composition of his work and he seems 
to repeat it with some variations. I suppose his readers get 
to know what to expect from him, and I believe this is also 
the habit, and the reward, of many writers of popular fiction 
for adults as well. We have here some bits for very small 
children, a number of tales for older children, and two 
scientific treatises disguised to resemble fiction, after a 
fashion. These last, by Dr. Richardson, treat an important 
subject with skill and discretion, without sentimentality and 
without evasion, and show with remarkable discernment an 
understanding of the differences between boys and girls. The 
stories for the very young, by the Bells and the Carrolls, I 
thought were effectively told and charmingly illustrated. 

218 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Among the stories for older children, we find accounts of 
the trials and toils and pleasures of life in the mountains as 
it is lived by young people dependent upon their own re- 
sources and sustained by their love for each other and their 
trust in the Providence that controls their lives. These stories 
come from a close association with the persons represented, 
and show faith in the efficacy of essential traits of character 
to carry one through adversity to ultimate happiness. Other 
works in this group appeal more to a youthful interest in 
woods and animals and Indians and sports. They appeal to 
children of several ages, and cannot therefore be judged by 
the same standards; but in the rapidly moving stories of 
Mr. Burgess, Mr. Wellman, and Mr. Rounds boys, and prob- 
ably girls too, will find pleasure in straight forward narra- 
tives of adventure and sports. 

We come now to the poetry written by our neighbors 
during the last three years. Much has lately been said about 
the obscurity of modern poetry as opposed to the obvious 
clarity of that which preceded it and that which has consti- 
tuted the poetical diet of most of us. Reading of Arnold's tides 
of faith on Dover Beach or of Lord Tennyson's crossing the 
bar, we think at least that we know what they were driving 
at. Now, it is said, that is no more. But poetry has always 
tended towards obscurity; little of it can, or should, be 
immediately obvious, the nature of poetry being its figurative 
or obscure element. Writing long ago about beauty, Bacon 
said, "There is no Excellent Beauty that hath not some 
Strangenesse in the Proportion." Since poetry is the writing 
of most excellent beauty, we should expect some strangeness 
in the proportion of it. 

In the verses published among us recently, one can look 
for this strangeness of proportion and find very little. Most 
of the volumes of poems now before us are conventional in 
ideas and in form. They show simple sincerity and true feel- 
ing. The emotional responses to external nature, to love and 
life and death, are generally those that for many ages have 
supplied subject matter to poets far better than our con- 
temporary North Carolinians. And the verse forms employed 

A Review of North Carolina Fiction 219 

are mostly those to which we are accustomed, and handled 
with no great skill. 

But there are exceptions. Without implying the exclusion 
of others, I have chosen one or two to illustrate my point. 
First, the linked stanzas of Mr. Eaton's verse, from The 
Shadow of the Swimmer: 

Tonight prime yellow is the moon. 
The dark of fields, the shadowed trees 
Are still as memory that wakes 
To feel the land grow fresh and strange. 

The moon is motionless serene, 
Suave light that floats its fullness near 
This rough and shaggy side of earth 
Until the sense of being watched 

Makes watchfulness alert and clear. 
The fierce and vital force of day, 
Locked in horns of the hill, though tamed, 
Is never broken, and we know, 

Tonight, that time is copious. 
Resources of the moon, so calm, 
Shimmer without shattering and fill 
But do not quench the unslaked heart.* 

And then Miss Pingel's poem based on some lines from 
Horace, and written at Fort Macon, on Atlantic Beach. It 
is called "Shoreline," and begins: 

At dawn I strolled along the beach and felt the shifting sand 

replace each step; 
The wind flowed liquid-cool upon my face, and to my eyes 
It seemed the hearth of heaven had just begun to glow, 
As flaming streaks sprang silently to life behind undrawn gray 

I trembled as I wandered, as I wondered at the Infinite — 
And while I gazed, Eternity rode by upon the foam, 
Singing a sad, soft song into the murmuring wind. 
I felt the surge of life and death, of time and change as wave met 

For, as I stood spellbound and still, I watched each wave 

precipitate itself upon the shore 

Reprinted with special permission of the poet. 

220 The North Carolina Historical Review 

In headlong agony — or was it apathy? 

For, was the voice I heard the voice of anguish? death? or 

. . . tu ne quaesieris . . . quern mihi . . . tibi . . . f inem 
. . . dederint . . . 

The sea with loving hands 

Caressed the shrinking sands 
The breeze which shuttled back and forth upon the spume 
Wove a web of harmony — and doom ; 
A resume of the past and present, vast, profound — 
I was at peace, and one with sand and wind and sea and sky — 
Primeval elements!* 

We should conclude these illustrations with one of Mr. 
Hanes's choral odes or a passage of his narrative free verse. 
Much of the beauty of these comes from their cumulative 
effect, and excerpts seem to me to show a disproportion of 
strangeness. I shall therefore not do them the injustice of 
quoting out of context, but I can suggest that you read the 
full poems for yourself. 

Looking back now over these books written in North Caro- 
lina and thinking of the purposes of the donors of the awards 
that are to be made tonight, we might ask what is expected 
of literature written in this state. Or, to phrase it another way, 
what is typically North Carolinian about these books? Mr. 
Eaton, a native of the state, has written poems that are the 
result of his residence in Brazil; Mr. Hanes, another poet 
from Winston-Salem, has drawn the material for his latest 
book from the far north-west and Indian lore quite foreign 
to us. Mr. Blythe's source of inspiration come from ancient 
history; Mr. Davis draws on the history of the Revolutionary 
War. On the other hand, Mrs. Harris and Mrs. Patton use 
people and events from close at hand. Are they then more 
truly representative North Carolinians than the three gentle- 
men I mentioned? One might ask, too, if Mr. Street's his- 
torical novel is less North Carolinian than Mr. Blythe's. 
Or, is Miss Rogers' representation of life in China recently 
less representative of us than Mr. Hanes's account of In- 
dian country long ago? Mrs. Fletcher has written the epic 
of the founding of North Carolina. I think we may certainly 

* Reprinted with special permission of the poet. 

A Review of North Carolina Fiction 221 

regard her as one of us, but she was not born and raised 
within our borders. Some others who have become good 
North Carolinians since they came to live here have written 
however, not about us but about people and experiences they 
recall from other days and other places. 

The question, perhaps, is the question of regionalism in 
literature, associated in England in the last century with 
Thomas Hardy and Sir James Barrie, as opposed, for ex- 
ample, to Joseph Conrad, who, though not a Briton at all, 
greatly enriched English literature by writing excellent Eng- 
lish novels. 

It is very important for our culture that we shall have 
writers, native and imported, living among us and interpret- 
ing life to us and to people everywhere, each according to 
his own interests and capacities. For this reason I find the 
variety, the absence of homogeneity or distinctive local 
characteristics, of these books that we have been talking 
about encouraging evidence that we have broadened and 
enriched our culture in the last fifty years until our literary 
products may have real meaning for persons who cannot 
identify the minute details of persons or places. These so- 
cieties meeting here this week have taken a distinctive part 
in this extension of our literary culture. With their continued 
encouragement I think we may look forward to even better 
books in North Carolina than we have had in the past. 


By Frontis W. Johnston 

On the evening of January 21, 1880, in the Blue Parlor of 
the Riggs House in Washington, D. C, Senator Zebulon B. 
Vance of North Carolina suffered a severe heart attack. 

He had been senator for less than a year. When he entered 
the Riggs House that wintry January evening he was already 
suffering, but only from a sore throat which had often plagu- 
ed him and to which he gave the impressive name of Fo- 
licular Laringitis. In time he recovered from the sore throat, 
but he never recovered from the heart attack. 

There were distinguished doctors present at the gay party 
that evening but no one of them was called to minister to 
the stricken senator. It was just as well, for the cause of the 
sudden attack lay beyond the scope of medical administra- 
tion; his malady resulted from his introduction to a gracious 
and charming lady who was dressed in black mourning and 
possessed strands of gray in her hair; she was a widow with 
some fortune and a son nearly twelve years of age. At this 
particular time the senator was vulnerable to such an at- 
tack: he was almost fifty; he had been married for more than 
twenty-five years; he had four grown sons, the eldest of 
whom was himself married and the youngest of whom was 
a student at The University of North Carolina; and he had 
been a widower for a little more than one whole year. He 
succumbed quickly and completely, for he was in no con- 
dition to endure such exposure. And so it was that Zebulon 
B. Vance, former state legislator, United States congressman, 
Confederate colonel, and three times Governor of North 
Carolina was married to Mrs. Florence Steele Martin by 
a Catholic priest at her home in Louisville, Kentucky. In 
less than five months the forty-year-old widow became a 
June bride. 

1 This paper was read as the presidential address at the dinner session 
of the annual meeting of the State Literary and Historical Assocation in 
Raleigh, December 4, 1953. 

[222 ] 

Mrs. Florence Steele Martin 
Later Mrs. Zebulon B. Vance 

The Courtship of Zeb Vance 223 

This paper is the story of their courtship and will be told 
almost entirely in their own words. They met for the first 
time on January 21, 1880, the night of the ball at the Riggs 
House. 2 Before she left Washington three weeks later they 
were engaged. They did not see each other again until June 
15, the day before their wedding. But there are now extant 
about 130 letters written in those four months, and they tell 
of something of the trials and ecstasies of young lovers in the 
good old Victorian days. If, as we read tonight, you begin 
to wonder if these letters were meant for our ears, if you 
suspect that we violate good taste in exposing the boyish 
exuberance of one who was certainly no longer a boy, re- 
member that she saved the letters, that she gave them to 
Dr. R. D. W. Connor of the North Carolina Historical Com- 
mission many years after Vance's death, and that we prob- 
ably do tonight what she wished done with them. 

The courtship began tamely and normally enough. The 
first extant note is dated January 27 and reads simply: "Mrs. 
Martin, Please accept the flowers which are sent with this 
note. Your impatient patient, who is holding on to a sore 
throat with a yet sorer heart." 3 A week later the tone was 

I have been at work all this forenoon disposing of a neglected 
pile of letters. In glancing at the tenth answer I was surprised 
to find that I had concluded every one with a fervent "God 
bless you," including one to a man in California whom I have 
never seen! I just let it stand. Like the letter writer who re- 
fused to strike out a surplus C on the ground that he had 
plenty of them, so, overflowing with happiness myself I let 
some of it slop over on the poor fellow who I fear has no sweet- 
heart! And now isn't it too bad that I can say nothing more 
heartfelt to you than the same old refrain which my whole soul 
has been pouring forth all night & all day, God bless you. 4 

Do we agree that progress has been made? The next night, 
at midnight, he wrote: 

2 Vance to Mrs. Martin, March 31, 1880, Zebulon B. Vance Papers, State 
Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, N. C. All other manuscripts 
cited in this article are to be found in this collection, unless otherwise 
noted in a footnote. 

3 Vance to Mrs. Martin, January 27, 1880. 
* Vance to Mrs. Martin, February 3, 1880. 

224 The North Carolina Historical Review 

My dearest one: It is the hour most solemn to me of all the 
twenty-four — the one which comes between labor and repose: 
when the deeds of the day are reviewed and conscience passes 
judgment upon them. Reflecting upon this day I cannot free 
myself from the somewhat unorthodox notion that the great 
love in my heart which has burned there all the day has in 
some way helped to atone for all the evil I have committed, even 
as the one great love of our Lord has atoned for all Sin! I feel 
purer, holier than I have ever done in my life, all through the 
influence of my Darling's love. 5 

February 11 was the day she left Washington for her 
home in Louisville. Two hours after he left her on the train 
he wrote: 

Can I realize that you are gone! Did I really part with you 
. . . Alas, yes, and you are now flying from me, from me, further 
and further every moment. Ever since I began to write the 
cruel wheels - they are well made of iron - have whirled you 
at least one mile further from my arms. I swear I can feel 
their crash upon my heart as they bear my love away ! God grant 
that they may keep their appointed track and bear Her in safe- 
ty, as those who dwell beneath the shadow of the everlasting 
wings! Oh my darling! How feeble are our tongues to express 
the feelings of the heart. You have been so good and so kind to 
me. You have blessed me with your love and promised to be my 
wife. The fountain of youth is once more opened within my 
heart. I am a boy again with a sweetheart. Poetry comes back 
to me and ravishes me with her glorious images. A good, pure, 
and noble woman loves me, and God of all mercy, how sweet it 
is! ... I shall devote my life to the task of convincing you 
how earnestly I love you. It shall be an epic of tenderness and 
devotion. 6 

Time and absence only made the heart grow fonder, as 
another letter a week later testifies: 

When my own dearest Sweet Heart sees this third letter dated 
on the same day, I know she will say I have lost my senses. The 
Gods truth is I believe I have! ... In very fact I am ashamed 
of myself. ... In very truth I am scared when I analyze my 
feeling for you. . . . Now do not laugh at me, Please. I feel 
every word that I write you and a thousand times more that 

B Vance to Mrs. Martin, February 4, 1880. 
8 Vance to Mrs. Martin, February 11, 1880. 

The Courtship of Zeb Vance 225 

I cannot write - that it seems to me would be a desecration to 
put into words - that can no more be put into words than the 
odor of a flower. What is it my Darling? Is it the odor of the 
heart emitted only for loved ones? I can think of nothing else 
with which to compare it. I am a middle aged man, with a 
heart in which many emotions slumber - some that I fancied 
dead or at least overlaid by care and ambition or selfishness. I 
never dreamed that I could have them all renewed again. I 
was mistaken. The magic wand of love has awakened them all : 
The sweet visions of my youth - of the days when I was a col- 
lege boy have all come back to my heart and set it on fire : . . . 
For is not your home in my heart? And is there an emotion, a 
thought, a single pulsation there, that does not with exultation 
welcome the footsteps of its mistress? If not, so may its beat- 
ings cease forever, if I prefer not thee to my chief joy! The 
thought that I have met one who could then triumph over time 
and give me again those sacred joys, this delightful wretched- 
ness, and stir my heart to its innermost depths, is well calcu- 
lated to craze my intellect, and must plead for me. Let your 
heart sit in judgment upon me. It is a blessed madness, and I 
feel that I am to die without a lucid interval ! 7 

No lucid interval came in another week, for on February 
23 he continued: "Yesterday morning the mail was brought 
to me in bed: when I found nothing from you I groaned 
aloud. I rose and kneeled by the bedside and prayed with 
all my soul for patience and— for Florence. I then dressed, 
read the 17th chapter of St. Matthews gospel and started 
to church." 8 "Oh, how your dear sweet words did soothe 
my burning impatience, and pour oil on the heaving bellows 
of my heart/ 

» 9 

Are you punishing me because I didn't write you last Sun- 
day & Monday whilst in Baltimore? If so my punishment is 
greater than I can bear; and I call your attention to the Bill 
of Rights in the Constitution of all the States which declares 
that cruel and unusual punishments shall be no more inflicted - 
The peine forte et dure is repugnant to the spirit of our free 
institutions. True, love is a despotism and not a republic; but 
an enlightened absolutism like that which you exercise over me 
should be very merciful to its caring subjects . . . Pray for me 

7 Vance to Mrs. Martin, February 19, 1880. 

8 Vance to Mrs. Martin, February 23, 1880. 

9 Vance to Mrs. Martin, February 23, 1880. 

226 The North Carolina Historical Review 

that I may be patient and trustful. I do for you. I fairly agonize 
on my knees for your happiness and peace, 10 

This sort of quotation could go on all evening, for such 
were written almost every day for a period of more than 
four months, but we have time to add only a few more 
samples to those already given. 

Songs of praise and love to my darling must be poured out 
before I thank God for this days mercies & follow the "weary 
world" to rest. Where shall I begin and what shall I say? I be- 
lieve I shall start with something netv and tell you that I love 
you! Fresh as this assertion may appear it is true, absolutely 
and positively true. 11 

Sweet love I worship you, not wickedly I hope, but as one 
who may lawfully revere Gods noblest creation. If I were with 
you tonight only one thing would satisfy me and that would 
not be a repetition of the kisses you gave me - tho they would 
come too - because kissing implies an equality of the parties ; I 
would get down at your feet if you would permit me & place your 
foot on my neck in token that in the bonds of love I am your 
submissive humble slave. Ah me! How sweet! How sweet! To 
love again with all the ardor, all the rapture of youth, and to 
feel that you are thus loved in return! The fierce passion that 
now consumes and delights us, this lovers glow can be tempered 
to a steady, sober flame that will warm our home with a happi- 
ness rarely vouched to mortals and will light our souls in the 
ways of peace, even in the hour of death. 12 

Don't depreciate yourself, my love. You must not. You say 
you are neither pretty nor strong, nor good nor sweet, & you 
are sorry for me. Please don't talk like that - Dear Darling 
what am I? Alas, alas, I would be ashamed to tell you. To my 
eyes you are the loveliest, as to my heart you are the noblest 
and best and sweetest of all Gods living creatures. If I could, 
I would not change a single thing about you except your health. 
I am sorry you are not stronger, but do you, dear one, know 
that I believe I love you more on that account? There is an 
appeal, mute and eloquent, which goes out from those who suf- 
fer to those who are strong that no manly heart can resist. I 
believe in my inmost soul, that never in the days of my fervent 

w Vance to Mrs. Martin, February 21, 1880. 
u Vance to Mrs. Martin, February 23, 1880. 
12 Vance to Mrs. Martin, March 3, 1880. 

The Courtship of Zeb Vance 227 

youth did I love my fresh and blooming young wife as I did 
when her poor emaciated arms were around my neck as I lifted 
her in and out of bed. The care and anxiety we expend endears 
the object to us. This every loving heart knows. 13 

Your letters all abound with affection, but this one overflowed 
its banks and poured its floods of delicious love all over the 
plains. My soul bathed in them and was refreshed. I feel that 
I need never fear a drouth with such a fountain. ... to feed 
the glorious stream. . . . For love is a purifier - it promotes all 
the moral virtues and helps to color our souls with the hues of 
heaven. 14 

I am weary and unsatisfied with merely writing to my love. 
Though it is better than nothing, yet after all it is like satisfying 
ones hunger by looking through the window at the dinner table ! 
It only sharpens the appetite. 15 

As the weeks went by and the business of the senate ses- 
sions increased Vance found it more and more difficult to 
concentrate on work. He wrote her that he could hardly 
transact ordinary business, and that he found all sensible 
books utterly tasteless because there was not a particle of 
love in them. 16 "Every letter adds fuel to the already fierce 
and growing flame. I have told you more than once that I 
could do nothing except the most routine work, that my 
ambition was in abeyance— that in short I was utterly & 
fearfully worthless. It is painfully true and you are to blame 
for it. . . . Love once stirred my ambition and made me work- 
why does it not now?" 17 "You ask me how many kisses I 
would give you if I could be with you as you write? That 
I can't tell. I never was good in Mathematics— it was the 
only thing I was second in in college." 18 

"No letter this morning? How am I to get through another 
24 hours? . . .You have spoiled me by your kindness in writ- 
ing. You have given me my sugar so regularly that it almost 
kills me to go without it." 19 He insisted that she put "sugar 

18 Vance to Mrs. Martin, May 30, 1880. 
"Vance to Mrs. Martin, March 17, 1880. 

15 Vance to Mrs. Martin, April 4, 1880. 

16 Vance to Mrs. Martin, March 26, 1880. 
"Vance to Mrs. Martin, March 15, 1880. 

18 Vance to Mrs. Martin, April 17, 1880. 

19 Vance to Mrs. Martin, February 19, 1880. 

228 The North Carolina Historical Review 


in your next one and remember, I like my toddy sweet. 
This got results: "I just can't help dropping you a pencil note 
from my seat [in the Senate] to thank you from the depths 
of my heart for your letter. It was just so good & kind, hopeful 
and sweet that I believe in my soul that I am defrauding the 
Revenue by witholding it from the tax on high grade sugar! 
... As the negro said at the camp-meeting I'm so glad I'm 
alive, I'm almost dead." 21 

As the time neared to go and claim his bride, his imagina- 
tion was given full play. "Do you know dearest," he wrote, 
"I have been trying to imagine what I should do with you, 
how behave, how manifest my love without being thought 
an idiot, and conduct myself generally. I have rehearsed a 
dozen tender scenes and made as many pretty speeches full 
of pathos &c &c until, smiling at my folly and thankful that 
no one was looking at me, I brought myself back to sober 
life and voted myself" simply in love. 22 "The thought of see- 
ing you soon dries up my pen and I can write no more. . . . 
Mercy of God, how I love you! How I want to hold you in 
my arms and call you mine. Your husband— almost." 23 

Throughout the correspondence Vance tried, from time 
to time, and in a variety of ways, to warn her of his financial 
position. There were moments when this warning had to be 
delivered in blunt terms, for the subject of money occasional- 
ly intruded prosaically upon their dreams of love. 

The warnings began in February with these lines: 

I never before regretted being a poor man. Except when I 
wanted to help my kindred or some poor friends, in their dis- 
tress since the war I never felt the need of money, or cared 
for it. You have seen enough of me to know that I am not mind- 
ful of these things, not enough so in fact for my own good. But 
now that you are going to trust yourself to my care, it seems 
to me my nature is changing. I want to buy out this whole 
town and present it to you with my sincere apologies that it 
is not bigger & handsomer. 24 

20 Vance to Mrs. Martin, February 11, 1880. 

21 Vance to Mrs. Martin, March 15, 1880. 
23 Vance to Mrs. Martin, June 6, 1880. 

28 Vance to Mrs. Martin, June 12, 1880. 
"Vance to Mrs. Martin, February 29, 1880. 

The Courtship of Zeb Vance 229 

This was the introduction; the main point came later: 

Your letter this morning fairly took away my breath. The 
dream of my life has been to go to Europe, and my heart leapt 
high when I read your proposition. But only for a moment. 
When I resolved myself into a committee of Ways & Means my 
spirits fell to zero. Let me be candid; I do not see how it is 
possible to be done. To omit the repairs, furnishing &c of my 
house I could still raise not more than a thousand or twelve 
hundred dollars ... It pains me to have to say this, to be un- 
able to comply with your first request. . . . Already you are 
paying the penalty of marrying a poor man. I am so sorry. . . . 
It has been that way with me all my life, & will be perhaps to 
the end. But one great consolation is that I can look people in 
the face! Thats equal to a trip to Europe, isn't it Darling? 25 

I am so much pleased at the spirit you evince, of conforming 
yourself to my circumstances - the life of a poor politician. It 
is such a relief to me. One great secret of my success has been 
this very thing; from my first entrance into public life I have 
been placed in the very trying situation of occupying high 
political positions without the money to live in a style com- 
mensurate with their supposed dignity. Instead of trying to 
cut a swell at the expense of my friends and by going in debt 
to everybody I lived scrupulously within my means and paid 
every man the last cent due him. When we (my wife and I) 
had the money to keep a carriage we rode in it, when we didn't 
we walked. When we had the money to spare in summers we 
went to the springs, when we didn't we staid at home or went to 
the branch! What we lost in display I found we more than 
made up in the respect of all sensible people and in the comfort 
of a good conscience. Holding so many high positions and con- 
tinuing poor is accepted by my kind people as proof of my 
honesty & incorruption. Such has been my manner of life, and 
if I had believed you to be a giddy woman bent on making a 
display as a Senator's wife I should never have asked you to 
occupy that position - not even if you could have brought with 
you the money for that display. Nevertheless I believe in en- 
joying to the full what one has, and so we will live as well as 
our fortunes will permit. 26 

The fact was that she had more money than he did, and 
this proved embarrassing. A month before the wedding he 

26 Vance to Mrs. Martin, March 30, 1880. 
28 Vance to Mrs. Martin, March 8, 1880. 

230 The North Carolina Historical Review 

wrote: "In a few days I shall prepare and send you a draft 
of the marriage settlement which I promised you. You must 
take it to your lawyer, lay aside your blushes, and make him 
tell you if it is all right. If not, you must return it with your 
objections. There must be no misunderstandings. . . . There 
is only one thing you may expect me to insist upon in the 
future, and that is that we must live within our income. 
Remember the golden words of our wise friend. . . . Given, 
said he, income £20, expenditure £19. 19s, result happiness; 
income £20, expenditure £20, Is, result misery. That odd shil- 
ling does it all; true as holy writ." 2T 

As she left Washington for Louisville he wrote: "Tell them 
[her family] the simple truth about me Darling, as I told it 
to you— that I am a poor man & ever likely to be. You may 
boast of nothing for me except my love for you: that you 
cant overdo! I do hope they will all learn to love me. If they 
will only try for your sake I shall make them end by liking me 
for my own, or I am no politician." 28 

Not all their literary courtship was quite so idyllic as these 
samples would indicate. There were some rougher waters, 
and they were tempestuous because of religion and gossip 
as well as money. 

So far as the letters reveal it was she who first raised the 
question as to the effect of her religion upon his political 
fortunes. He tried to comfort her doubts on the subject from 
the first. The fear 

that your religion will injure my political prospects I beg you 
not to trouble yourself about for a moment. I thought about all 
that when I first found my heart was going out to you. The 
great mass of the people of N. C. will not care a particle what 
your religion is : my kinf oik - than innumerable mountain tribe 
- will receive you kindly from the start and will be your sworn 
admirers and fighting partisans in six months, and so will the 
great bulk of my neighbors and associates at home. Only a very 
few, and those of my own church [the Presbyterian] people 
will "cut up" somewhat. These I shall expect you to capture! 
In fact, I do not anticipate any damage to my political status 
that you cannot easily repair ; ... As a general rule our North 

27 Vance to Mrs. Martin, May 17, 1880. 

28 Vance to Mrs. Martin, February 11, 1880. 

The Courtship of Zeb Vance 231 

Carolina people though old fashioned and unprogressive, are 
very tolerant, generous in matters of sentiment and just in 
their judgments. 29 

On a visit to Charlotte late in February, he reported: "I 
shall have much to say at a more convenient time as to what 
I learned here in regard to the effect on my political status 
of my marrying a Catholic. Indirectly I have heard a great 
deal, but I can't tell you now." 30 A week later he gave her 
more details: "Well, I heard many things at home— I mean in 
N. C. I told my son, my doctor, my old law partner, and my 
preacher friend. My interview with the preacher Rev. Dr. 
Harding was most interesting, as I was most anxious to know 
from him how my church people would take my marrying 
a Catholic— as I expected, he said at first it would produce a 
great shock, then a a nine days wonder, and then— it would 
all disappear and they would learn to love you without regard 
to your religion." 31 

But is was not quite as simple as this, and not all the com- 
plications came from his church members. On March 4 he 
wrote a letter which deserves quotation almost in full. 

I have spent one of the most wretched days of my life, .... 
I got your letter this morning .... and read it with the utmost 
joy until I came to that something which you said I had to 
promise before the Priest would marry us. Then, positively, my 
heart stood still with fear & agony! What was it, I asked my- 
self again & again, I had to promise except to love & cherish 
her until death? A thousand fears came upon me, and there 
rushed before my imagination all the stories I had heard from 
childhood about the diabolical craft of the priests in entrapping 
people by taking advantage of their passions, their loves and 
hatreds and what not; and how in every divided household the 
priest came between man and wife, dethroning him and sewing 
distrust between him and the wife of his heart. I thought all 
these things and shuddered at the suggestion that priestcraft 
might extort something from me that would wound my con- 
science and degrade my manhood, as well as rob me of the love 
and respect of my people - and I thought it must be something 
hard to be done or you would not have so hesitated to tell me 

29 Vance to Mrs. Martin, February 24, 1880. 

80 Vance to Mrs. Martin, February 29, 1880. 

81 Vance to Mrs. Martin, March 3, 1880. 

232 The North Carolina Historical Review 

.... It then occured to me that my brother's doctor .... had 
married a Catholic and I had heard the Doctor say the priest 
had made him promise that he should bring up all his children 
in the Catholic church. Is that it? . . . Please, my Darling, par- 
don me for mentioning such a subject, but if I am right in 
my conjecture that this is the promise you refer to, then of 
course the matter must be mentioned; ... As you say, you 
are sacred to me now, and no false modesty should pave the 
way for future misunderstandings. I shall hold all you say as 
the necessary utterances of a pure and refined woman to the 
man who has promised to be her husband. ... I will spare 
you as far as I can. If God should permit us to marry and our 
union should be blessed by a child or children and this promise 
should relate to them, just use the word "they" and I shall un- 
derstand . . . and I will tell you frankly what I can do and what 
I can not - and what I dare not do. There is a great difference 
between your church and mine in this matter of personal lib- 
erty. No protestant clergyman who draws the breath of life 
would dare intimate to me, were I marrying a Hindoo, such a 
promise as you say the priest exacts. And yet the people who 
teach and practice this largest Christian liberty of conscience 
would turn from me with contempt if they thought I had sur- 
rendered that conscience for any motive other than honest con- 
viction. . . . Not until these fears came upon me today did I 
know - did I have the faintest idea, how dear, how inexpressibly 
precious you are to me. You have grown into my heart - you 
have melted into my soul and shaped and clored its flame with 
your own. For Jesus' sake make me do nothing to be with you 
that would separate me forever from my self respect. You could 
not love me, Precious darling, if my manhood was humiliated 
and my proud integrity of principle wounded unto death. You 
love me now - let me stay as I am, and do not let anyone force 
you to put burdens upon my love greater - not that it can bear, 
but - than it ought to bear. 32 

A few days later Vance referred to this letter as "petulant 
outpourings of fearful misery," as "raving like a jealous mad- 
man in search of something to make me wretched," 33 but 
he was wretched. The next day he wrote in calmer tones: "I 
am going to have a free talk with the Arch Bishop tomorrow, 
and if there is anything required which I cannot do I will 
tell you, and we will talk it over. You know that it will be 

82 Vance to Mrs. Martin, March 4, 1880. 
88 Vance to Mrs. Martin, March 8, 1880. 

The Courtship of Zeb Vance 238 

no small matter that I shall refuse to do for you." 34 The 
interview was held in Baltimore on March 9 and Vance im- 
mediately telegraphed: "All is well," 35 and he soon wrote: 

I am now so glad I went to see Archb. Gibbon. I can now make 
the promise cheerfully, as I told him, & keep it like a Christian 
gentleman. ... I suffered too . . . for I knew in the depths of 
my heart that nothing but death could make me give you up. 
Yes, my blessed Love, I long ago reached that point. Dishonor 
I would not have incurred, but I did not intend to live without 
you, so long as you loved me. That is all. I was ashamed when 
you indicated I might forsake you - forsake you so long as you 
loved me ! God have mercey ! You don't know me - you have not 
yet sounded the great deep of my heart and learned of the 
passion for you that reigns there. You will know some day I 
trust. 36 

And forgive me for the harsh things I said about your church. 
I did not say I believed them but only that all those stories 
I had heard rushed to my mind. . . . And don't think I shall 
ever object to the priests of your church visiting you. Such an 
idea never entered my head. On the contrary I have already in- 
vited the Archbishop to visit us when we go housekeeping and 
he has promised to come on the first notice of that interesting 
fact! Now kiss me! 37 

Thereafter the religious matter was often mentioned in 
their letters, but it was assumed to be settled. For example, 
on April 12 Vance wrote: 

I am anxiously waiting for my breakfast. Before that interest- 
ing event takes place I thought I would break my heart's fast 
by writing you a note to tell you that / love you. I confess it, 
tho' Presbyterians you know don't believe in the confessional - 
you see I am growing Catholic! . . . Catholics confess their 
sins and to love you is no sin but the noblest thing a man can 
do ! I give more and better evidences of Catholicism than that : I 
said my prayers this morning with your picture close before 
my face and kissed it as I prayed to you! If the Session only 
knew it, I fear they would have me up for violating the 2nd 
Commandment. Seriously, I do love you too much, I am afraid. 

84 Vance to Mrs. Martin, March 8, 1880. 

85 Vance to Mrs. Martin, March 10, 1880. 
88 Vance to Mrs. Martin, March 10, 1880. 
"Vance to Mrs. Martin, March 10, 18S0. 

234 The North Carolina Historical Review 

God may chastise me for a divided allegiance - But - well, I 
love you, and I don't repent it. 38 

Repent it or not, there was still concern over what others 
might say. Three weeks after the engagement Vance told his 
first friend, his brother, General Robert B. Vance. He wrote 
her the result: 

On my way [to church] I said, "Brother, I am pleased with 
a lady who in person, character, position in Society, and fortune 
are all and more than I could desire ; but she is a Catholic, what 
do you say?" He stopt and looked at me, & asked, "Do you love 
her brother?" "With all my heart," I answered. "Then," said 
he "don't hesitate a moment about her religion." I wanted to 
hug him right in the street. I felt so happy in church I joined 
the choir in singing a familiar old hymn & made my throat 
hurt all night in consequence. 39 

He is one of nature's noblemen - so much better than I am .... 
He gives away in charity and in aiding his kindred & friends 
almost everything he has in the world - I don't; he speaks evil 
of no one - I do; he does not fight his enemies, personal or 
political - I do, and draw blood whenever and wherever I can 
until they let me alone. ... I find that our engagement has 
been well scattered over No Carolina, from the mountains to 
the sea. You remember the Gov of our State was here & with 
him a number of R Road directors & at least three kinsmen of 
mine. They live in different parts of the State, everyone has a 
ivife and every wife a tongue! And when I tell you that N. C. 
men have the reprehensible habit of confiding in their wives 
you can understand that our Secret (?) has out traveled that 
fury crop which used to gather the clans! Besides all this, if 
not enough, every Congressman from N. C. has a wife & several 
of them are here in person. Now then, might we not as well 
put a card in the N. Y. Herald and be done with it . . . Let 'em 
talk. 40 

Mrs. Shober, the wife of the clerk of the senate from Salis- 
bury, N. C, teased him delightfully. "She is a gay society 
woman, & knows everything going on in our State. She says 
N. C. is ringing with your name & mine. . . . When I go home 

88 Vance to Mrs. Martin, April 12, 1880. 

89 Vance to Mrs. Martin, February 23, 1880. 
40 Vance to Mrs. Martin, February 23, 1880. 

The Courtship of Zeb Vance 235 

I dread to meet the questions & when I start to have my house 
repaired, the winks & the nods, & the I told-you-so's will be 
perfectly fearful." 41 

On a trip to Raleigh late in March he sounded out the pol- 
iticians, and duly reported the results: 

My visit to Raleigh was a most delightful one. I met so many 
good friends & cheir greeting was so cordial. In particular two - 
Col Kenan the Atto Genl of N. C. and Mr. Geo. Davis, once 
Atto Genl. of the Confederate States. They are the only ones to 
whom I confided my secret. They are both pleased at the pros- 
pect of my happiness. Mr. Davis is one of our most cultured 
and elegant gentlemen - he squeezed my hand when I told him 
goodbye and said "Vance, old fellow, think of me when you 
go after her." I promised that I would, but I know I shan't. 
How could I? 42 

In Raleigh everyone seemed to know what was going on and 
I was most delightfully teased. No one of my friends indicated 
any apprehension that I was doing myself any political injury, 
except one man: Gen. Leach, an old Ex Member of Congress 
who was here [Raleigh] much this winter ... he was on the 
train as I went home and assumed to know that we were en- 
gaged and said it would do me damage to marry a Catholic .... 
Conceive no prejudice against him. 43 

He would not allow her to worry over Leach's doubts and 
took occasion to reassure her in other letters: "He is not a 
nice man nor one with whom I would wish you to be intimate 
but only on civil terms. He has long been my political friend 
and supporter— and having lost caste with our people of late 
years I should feel ashamed to drop him on the down 
grade." 44 "He is a good friend of mine, but I am a better poli- 
tician than he is, and his single opinion doesn't disturb me." 43 

But he was disturbed by a letter from Florence on April 21. 
Her nephew, Willie Pope, she wrote, came rushing into her 
room with a very important air and 

41 Vance to Mrs. Martin, February 23, 1880. 

42 Vance to Mrs. Martin, March 24, 1880. 

43 Vance to Mrs. Martin, March 3, 1880. 

44 Vance to Mrs. Martin, March 24, 1880. 

45 Vance to Mrs. Martin, March 3, 1880. 

236 The North Carolina Historical Review 

began to tell a real adventure he had had with a customer from 
Raleigh, N. C. - an old gentleman of sixty who asked him if he 
knew a Mrs. Martin here who was going to marry Senator 
Vance. . . . Willie laughed and crowed to think he had "found 
me out," . . . "he combed the Gov. down some - said he wouldn't 
make a lady a good husband - for he wasn't good to his first 
wife and that he got on "big busts" - had been on them with 
him - the old gentleman - and that you had tried mighty hard 
to get married down there &c &c" ... I couldn't make him 
tell me the man's name. . . . There are so many people in the 
world who try to be important by talking knowingly of impor- 
tant people. I feel exactly like slapping Willie good. 46 

But of course Vance was hurt by the story, which he called 
a "cruel outrage." On the whole he wrote with great re- 
straint: "I have written to Raleigh to learn the man's name. 
I have many political enemies there, and some personal 
ones, as it is the home of my principal rival Mr. Merrimon 
whom I beat for the Senate. But I did not believe there was 
a man in N. C. who would say I had not been kind to my wife. 
I think it must have been a joke; . . . The story that I get on 
'big busts' I do not mind. A public mans habits are so well 
known that a false charge like that corrects itself. But the 
other is a matter not so in view of the public, and is cruel 
and mean in the extreme." 47 

Willie, confronted with this denial, sputtered and fumed 
and said the whole thing was a joke. Florence, not quite be- 
lieving him yet, loyally declared that 

All North Carolina - even if it included all the territory in 
the original grant couldn't have weighed with me for one small 
moment. I have faith in only one quality that I possess - I think 
I know a man without any help from outside people. . . . And 
from the first I have felt toward you that nothing any one 
could say for or against you would change my mind and faith 
in you. ... I know you were tender and true and lovely to 
your wife and you revere her sweet memory. ... I love you, 
I bless you. We have both been blest in a former marriage 
and let us rejoice that God has sent us this lovely Indian Sum- 
mer to glorify our later years - don't lets allow any foolishness 

48 Mrs. Martin to Vance, April 21, 1880. 
47 Vance to Mrs. Martin, April 23, 1880. 

The Courtship of Zeb Vance 237 

to dim the splendors of our suns and moons. ... I ought not 
to have troubled you, but you know I'll do it all my life. . . . 48 

In May a more formidable person than Willie brought a 
definitely angry reaction from Louisville. On May 17 Vance 
wrote Mrs. Martin and enclosed a letter from Mrs. Cornelia 
Phillips Spencer, to which he added this comment: "What 
did you think of Mrs. Spencer's letter? I thought it mighty 
well written, kind and friendly but with a touch— just a touch 
of disapprobation in it. Did it strike you so?" 49 

It did, and Mrs. Martin was not the first person that Mrs. 
Spencer's pen ever prodded into protest. 

Do you know Mrs. Spencer's letter made me so mad I just 
couldn't see . . . and I thought so little of my hold upon you - 
that I felt you would care more for this old friend than for me 
.... I thought she said you had expressed yourself as wanting 
judgment in addressing me ... all the bigotry I could en- 
counter would not enrage me like that letter did - Oh, I just 
went all to pieces - so cool - so audacious - inasmuch as it was 
written to you - She would uphold you in your hour of misfor- 
tune &c &c - oh, She'll never know from my manners but the 
day will come when she will understand that I understand the 
cool impertinence of that letter! 50 

May 20 produced two long letters in an attempt to answer 
this outburst. 

How sorry I am that I sent you that letter! I never dreamed 
of hurting you. ... I long ago cast to the winds all thought 
of how your religion would affect my political status and de- 
termined to follow my heart rather than the cold dictate of 
judgment as one goes about a purchase. This is what I in sub- 
stance wrote the lady, adding rather boastingly, that I hoped 
never to be so old and mercenary as to ignore the feelings of 
a heart ever young in the choosing of a wife. The word "judg- 
ment" was used only in referring to your religion, and then 
only in deference to the supposed opinion of my correspondent, 
not that in my own opinion I had "judged" badly. . . . This 
lady's opinion I especially valued, and feel sure she will prove 
one of our truest friends. 51 

48 Mrs. Martin to Vance, April 25, 1880. 

49 Vance to Mrs. Martin, May 17, 1880. 
60 Mrs. Martin to Vance, May 19, 1880. 
51 Vance to Mrs. Martin, May 20, 1880. 

238 The North Carolina Historical Review 

A second letter followed that night: 

I infer that you felt yourself not merely hurt but insulted. 
... I am forced to believe that you take Mrs. S's letter as an 
intimation that my marriage with you is undesirable (I will 
not use your own word), that my own words to the lady had 
induced her to write as she did, and that I had sent you the let- 
ter with at least the knowledge that it would wound your pride. 
I am mortified that one I love so tenderly could for one slight 
moment imagine me capable of such disingenious meaness .... 
I simply wanted my darling wife to be welcomed with open 
arms to the hearts and homes of N. C. . . . [and] to see no 
evidence whatever of coldness or indifference because of your 
religion. In such a spirit I wrote to my old friend. ... I am 
to blame for her writing on the subject at all, I am to blame 
that you saw her letter. ... I want to burn your letter - it is 
the only one in which there is an unkind word for me. 52 

Vance thought that Mrs. Martin had misunderstood Mrs. 
Spencer and that her letter had been written in the kindest 
spirit. But perhaps the lady understood Mrs. Spencer better 
than the gentleman did. That same day Mrs. Spencer wrote 
another which neither Vance nor his future wife ever saw. 
It was to her sister-in-law: 

I had a letter from Gov. Vance last week announcing his ap- 
proaching marriage with a Kentucky lady, "in every way suit- 
able to me except that she is a Roman Catholic. Think of it ! What 
will you all say." I could say a good deal. I cannot help feeling 
distressed about it. . . . Can it be a rebound from the straight- 
laced Presbyterianism of Mrs. Vance? But he professes to be 
a Presbyterian now himself! I do believe I would not have felt 
as deeply hurt if he had told me she was a Mahometan or a 
heathen. There would be some hope of her conversion then. He 
adds that it gives him "much concern/' but that he is in love 
and it can't be helped. What will his Presbyterian friends say, 
indeed. Isn't it unspeakable, all things considered? 53 

Perhaps it need hardly be added that Mrs. Spencer was a 
Presbyterian, too. 

52 Vance to Mrs. Martin, May 20, 1880. 

58 Cornelia Phillips Spencer to Laura Phillips, May 20, 1880, Cornelia 
Phillips Spencer Papers, Southern Historical Collection, University of 
North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill, N. C 

The Courtship of Zeb Vance 239 

Mrs. Martin was pacified a little, but really unpersuaded: 
"I never thought for one simple moment that you meant to 
hurt me. ... I do not care any more about Mrs. Spencer. I 
am going in a little time right into your arms and heart— and 
if you keep me snug and warm the blasts may blow." And 
then, continuing: 

I may be regarded as a heathen or worse, I don't care - but, 
no one can come between us to offer you sympathy and pity. 
All the people of North Carolina couldn't fret me about my re- 
ligion - for to tell the truth I have a most unchristian contempt 
for their doctrines - and Mrs. Spencer may assume a high de- 
gree of sanctity and look upon me as anything she pleases - but 
you ! I don't think there was ever a prouder or more intolerant 
woman who ever lived than I would be towards anyone who 
dared come by one word even between my husband and myself. 54 

In spite of these troubles June came, and with it the wed- 
ding day. The marriage was solemnized on June 16 with 
about fifty friends of the families on hand. Vance was sad- 
dened by the fact that only one of his sons went with him, 
but Senator Ransom accompanied his colleague and Dr. 
Boykin, of Baltimore, the former surgeon of the twenty-sixth 
North Carolina, C. S. A., made the journey with his former 
colonel, 55 as faithful in love as he had been in war. The wed- 
ding trip did not include a European tour, but it did take in 
a part of Canada and the White Suphur Springs. And so what 
Vance had called his "epic of tenderness and devotion" be- 
gan. In the fourteen years of married life that remained for 
them before his death there were trouble and tribulation and 
tragedy, but in the voluminous correspondence that remains 
there is no slightest hint that he ever wished to be rid of the 
pain in his heart which so suddenly struck at the Riggs House 
that January evening in 1880. 

54 Mrs. Martin to Vance, May 23, 1880. 
65 Vance to Mrs. Martin, June 11, 1880. 

By Allan Nevins 

One curious thing about history, as Guedalla said, is that 
it really happened. Another curious fact about history is 
that while it was happening, nobody really understood its 

John Fiske, pausing one day in his young manhood before 
the window of Little, Brown in Boston, saw a volume within 
entitled Pioneers of France in the New World, and noted 
that its author was identified as the man who had written 
The Conspiracy of Pontiac. He remembered that when that 
earlier volume appeared, he had wondered whether Pontiac 
was a barbarous chieftain of medieval Europe. He recalled 
also that some teacher at Harvard had once expressed the 
view that the French and Indian War was a dull squabble 
of no real significance to students of history. Passing on, 
Fiske wondered why anyone should write about French 
pioneers in America. He lived to pen an essay on Francis 
Parkman which not only placed that author at the head of 
American historians (where he yet stands), but recognized 
that the epic significance of the struggle of Britain and 
France for the mastery of North America— a significance 
which Parkman had first expounded— could hardly be over- 
stated. An interpretation of our continental history which 
nowaday we assume no child could miss had been beyond 
the grasp of the brilliant young John Fiske in the 1860's. 

The idea that history can ever be so well written that it 
does not need rewriting can be held only by those foolish 
people who think that history can ever ascertain exact truth. 
It cannot. We can go further than the assertion of that truism. 
We can say, "Fortunate for history that it cannot ascertain 
exact truth!" If history were a photograph of the past it 
would be flat and uninspiring. Happily, it is a painting; and 
like all works of art, it fails of the highest truth unless imagi- 

* Included herein with special permission of The American Archivist in 
which this article appeared January, 1954 and The Saturday Review of 
Literature in which it appeared February 6, 1954. 


New Lamps for old in History 241 

nation and ideas are mixed with the paints. A hundred photo- 
graphs of London Bridge look just alike and convey alto- 
gether a very slight percentage of the truth, but Turner's 
Thames and Whistler's Thames, though utterly different, 
both convey the river with a deeper truth. 

All parts of our history are always being rewritten; no 
segment of it, from 1492 to 1952, is not now in need of 
vigorous rewriting. Whenever an expert applies himself to 
the scrutiny of a special area, he at once sounds a lusty call 
for more searching exploration of the terrain. Douglas Free- 
man, carrying Washington through the Revolution, agreed 
with Bernard Knollenberg, writing a history of that war, that 
every part of the Revolutionary struggle needs the most 
searching re-examination and the boldest reinterpretation. 
Merrill Jensen states in the preface to his study of the Con- 
federation that the entire period 1783-1789 demands a study 
that will embrace every state and every act of Congress. 
There are men who believe that the historical study of the 
Civil War period has but just begun— and they are right. 
Margaret Leech, just completing a study of the McKinley 
Administration, is convinced that a hundred research work- 
ers should be set to exploration of the dark nooks and secret 
crannies of the time. 

"In vain the sage, with retrospective eye," writes Pope, 
"would from the apparent what conclude the why." The three 
main reasons why history constantly needs reinterpretation 
include something more than the impossibility of ever learn- 
ing all the truth about all the motives and actions of the past. 

The chief of the three reasons is the need of every genera- 
tion for a reinterpretation to suit its own preconceptions, 
ideas, and outlook. Every era has its own climate of opinion. 
It thinks it knows more than the preceding era; it thinks it 
takes a wider view of the universe. Every era, too, is affected 
by cataclysmic events which shift its point of view: the 
French Revolution, the Metternichian reaction, the move- 
ment for national unification in Italy, the United States, and 
Germany, the apogee of Manchester Liberalism, and so on 
down to the multiple crisis of our atomic age. We see the 
past through a prism which glows and sparkles as new lights 

242 The North Carolina Historical Review 

catch its facets. Much of the rewriting of history is a read- 
justment to this prism. George Bancroft's spectrum was out- 
moded a few years after his laborious "last revision;" Charles 
A. Beard's begins to be outworn today, for we possess what 
Beard would have called a new frame of reference. 

As a second reason, new tools of superior penetrative 
power are from time to time installed in the toolshed of 
even our rather unprogressive race of historians. Our council 
for research in the social sciences ( it should be studies ) just- 
ly emphasizes the value of overlapping disciplines. Much 
could be said for the contention that the best historians nowa- 
days are prepared in some other field than that of history. 
Thus Wesley Clair Mitchell, the historian of the greenbacks, 
of business cycles, and of the ebb and flow of economic 
activity, whose National Bureau of Economic Research in- 
spired so much fruitful historical writing, was trained as an 
economist. (He also was trained by John Dewey, who gave 
courses under all sorts of titles, but "every one of them dealt 
with the same subject— how we think.") Beard was trained 
as a political scientist. Parrington was trained as a student of 
literature. Carl Becker was trained in European history but 
wrote in the American field. James Henry Breasted was first 
trained in theology, a fact which stood him in good stead 
when this pioneer of Egyptology in America began to trace 
the development of conscience and religion in the Ancient 
East. Not one historian in fifty knows as much as he should 
of the tool called statistics, or of psychology, or of economic 
geography, or of ecology. The kinship between Halford J. 
Mackinder, the geographer, and Frederick J. Turner, the 
historian, in loosing seminal ideas showed what the geog- 
rapher can learn from history, and the historian from 

But the third great reason why history is rewritten is 
simply because the constant discovery of new materials 
necessitates a recasting of our view of the past. We might 
think that this would one day cease, but it never does. Every- 
one who has laboriously mapped any historical subject 
knows how steadily dust of new facts falls upon that map, 
blurring some lines and defining new ones. Happy are those 

New Lamps for old in History 243 

who live to rewrite their books, as even Parkman rewrote 
one of his— "LaSalle and the Great West." One would have 
said that all the materials for a history of the Revolution 
had been assembled in print by the innumerable agencies, 
local, state and national, devoted to that effort, but Freeman 
assures us that the great archives like the Massachusetts 
Historical Society, the American Philosophical Society, and 
the main state libraries, bulge with unstudied documents. 
One would have said that all the material for the history 
of the Confederate War Office had been studied and re- 
studied; but, behold: the diary of the third officer of that 
department, Kean, is suddenly deposited in the University 
of Virginia, and we find a complete reassessment of the 
southern military administration possible. 

Thus the idea that history is photography is set at naught. 
It is art; it constantly requires a new mixture of pigments, 
new points of view, new manipulation of light and shade; and 
as an art, it presents an endless challenge to the writer who 
perceives that the highest truth of history will always trans- 
cend a statement of fact; that indeed, historical fact is but a 
foundation for the truth won by imagination and intellectual 

The best history is always interpretive, but this does not 
mean that the best history is consciously or ostentatiously 
interpretive. The work of the historical masters, from Thucy- 
dides to Trevelyan, illustrates the fact that interpretation is 
most effective when implicit rather than explicit. The true 
historical attitude is a search for truth about a situation, force, 
or event— the war of 1812, the abolitionist impulse, Pearl 
Harbor— which slowly, painfully, accurately dredges up an 
unforeseen interpretation. That is, history properly operates 
by the inductive, not the deductive, method. The merit of 
an Olympian historian like Parkman is that he says, in effect; 
"Let us collect and collate all the relevant facts, and find 
what conclusions emerge from their impartial analysis." The 
cardinal weakness of a controversial historian like Beard is 
that he repeatedly gave the impression— perhaps falsely— of 
having said to himself, "Let us take this provocative theory 
of the past, and see how impressive an array of facts we can 

244 The North Carolina Historical Review 

collect in its support." Ideas in history, that is, should be ap- 
plied in subordination to the ascertainment of all the facts, 
and not in control of the ascertainment of one picked body of 
facts. Hence it is that nothing could be more absurd than 
to try to predict in advance the interpretations to be applied 
to our history by future writers— who will certainly go their 
own way. But we may legitimately make some guesses as to 
the general drift of some of the new interpretations lying 
ahead of us. 

As American history lengthens and the past falls into longer 
perspective, we tend not so much to discard major interpre- 
tations entirely as to place new ones beside them; not so 
much to substitute one simple synthesis for another as to 
embrace old monistic views in a new and complex synthesis. 
Let us take a sweeping view of the first century of our na- 
tional history, 1775-1875. In that tremendously variegated, 
complicated, and baffling sea of events, forces, personalities, 
tendencies, and fortuities, let us assume that three great 
dominant developments lift themselves above all others. 

These three— let us assume— are the establishment of Amer- 
ican independence, political, economic, and finally cultural, 
from Europe; the westward movement for the conquest and 
development of the continent; and the abolition of slavery 
and a southern way of life in a civil war which vindicated 
national unity. Some students, to be sure, would select other 
elements in our historical fabric, but three special students 
out of five and nine lay readers out of ten would, I believe, 
choose these. Now it is evident to a cursory view that each 
of the three lent itself at first to a simple monistic interpreta- 
tion, expounded in the work even of subtle historians; and 
that within one or two generations this simple view of the 
past was replaced by a duel or multiple interpretation. What 
had been a flat telescopic image was given depth and reality 
by a stereopticon lens. 

The Revolution seemed to our primitive historians down to 
and including George Bancroft simply a political upheaval; 
richly interesting as it was, it was the epic story of the estab- 
lishment of political liberty in a new nation in a new world, as 
a guiding torch to all mankind. Before long, however, his- 

New Lamps for old in History 245 

torians doubled the lens. They showed that the Revolution 
was a social no less than a political convulsion; that the 
internal transformation of America was quite as significant 
as the external; that a broad sequence of changes was set in 
motion, or rather accelerated, which rolled inexorably on 
through the Jeffersonian and Jacksonian eras. Some of this 
truth was visible to that early historian Richard Hildreth, 
who was as realistic as he was conservative; more of it to 
Moses Coit Tyler and John Bach McMaster; and all of it to 
a later school headed by J. Franklin Jameson, Parrington, 
and others. 

The westward movement and the taming of the continent 
were first treated in terms of the transforming impact of man 
on nature; the expulsion of the Indian and wild beast, the 
hewing out of pioneer farms, the building of roads, and the 
ultimate planting of school and factory where the fur trader 
had trod. Then arose the eminent historian who perceived an 
equally rich meaning in the impact of nature, the wilderness, 
upon man; who explained how the frontier converted the 
European into an American, how it transformed men of 
caste-ridden minds into belligerently democratic individual- 
ists, how it manufactured nationalists out of separatists, and 
how, in short, it altered the whole pattern of thought, emo- 
tion, and conduct. This binocular view of the westward 
march was infinitely more interesting and arresting than the 
old monocular view. Parkman, Justin Winsor, Reuben Gold 
Thwaites, Edward Eggleston, Theodore Roosevelt, H. H. 
Bancroft, had been roughly accurate in their delienation of 
the westward thrust, but their interpretation had lacked 
depth and distinctness. When Turner substituted his percep- 
tive and penetrating image of the frontier for this flat photo- 
graph, it flashed into life, color and meaning; and behind 
Turner came a new body of writers who saw with his eyes. 

To Hermann Von Hoist the abolition of slavery seemed to 
mark the climax of seventy years of national life. America, to 
this German of Lithuanian birth, this hater of Russian and 
Prussian tyrannies, was the home of freedom and democracy; 
and the development and exemplification of these two ines- 
timable gifts had been its principal mission in the world. 

246 The North Carolina Historical Review 

But liberty in America had suffered from a cancerous social 
institution— slavery— which sadly impaired her usefulness in 
the sisterhood of nations and threatened her very life. This 
interpretation possessed more validity than some recent writ- 
ers have been willing to allow; indeed, within limits it was 
entirely valid. But it was too obvious, and it left too many 
historical phenomena of the period unexplained. The an- 
tagonism of North and South by 1860 transcended slavery, 
even though the conflict over slavery was certainly its cen- 
tral element. The simple monistic view of our great up- 
heaval in the middle of the 19th century had to be amplified. 

Hence arose the interpretation of that upheaval as one 
which included conflicts of economic interest, of philosophies 
of life, and of ingrained prejudice; a conflict between the 18th 
century and the 19th century mind; a conflict between the 
nascent industrialism of the North and the entrenched agrar- 
ianism of the South. Such an interpretation had been adum- 
brated by southern politicians and publicists like Yancey 
during the war; it was stated with emphasis by a southern 
historian, Percy A. Greg, soon after Appomattox. It had the 
merit of both widening and deepening the canvas. It dem- 
onstrated the links which joined Thaddeus Stevens, the anti- 
slavery convenanter, with Thad Stevens, the ironmaster, and 
Thad Stevens, the high-tariff legislator. If used as a construc- 
tive interpretation and not as a cloak for our political short- 
comings and errors or as a means of glozing over the hideous 
blot of slavery, it had immeasurable value. 

So much for three great developments in American his- 
tory: the severance from Europe, the conquest and settling 
of the continent, and the elimination of slavery and State 
Rights doctrine as retarding agencies in our national growth. 
The character of a fourth great development, accomplished 
and sealed in the last fifty years of our national life, can hard- 
ly be missed. On that new phase of our history, too, general 
agreement will perhaps be found. We have become first a 
great world power, and then the great world power. We 
have moved first into the open arena of world affairs, and 
then into the very center of that arena. We now view our 
national past from the vantage-point of this new turn, and 
with the changed perspective which it gives us. 

New Lamps for old in History 247 

Just as John Fiske saw our history from 1607 to 1789 as an 
evolutionary preparation for the gift of practical democracy, 
and the Anglo-American principle of self-government to the 
world in the shape of our Constitution and Federal system, 
just as Von Hoist saw the whole period from 1776 to 1861 as 
a preparation for the vindication of human liberty and na- 
tional unity, so now we have historians who view our whole 
national life as an unconscious preparation for the time when 
we should become "Protector of the Faith" for all democratic 
peoples, when, having turned away from western European 
affairs until we gained first place among the nations, we 
returned to them as the pivot and support of western Euro- 
pean civilization. These writers regard American history not 
in terms of the western continent, but in terms of an Atlantic 
community. We find, indeed, that we never left that com- 
munity; that the Seven Years War was our first world war, 
the Revolution our second; that we have but awakened to 
our consciousness of a global role. And when these historians 
write of our national future, they speak not of short-term 
objects, but of what Lincoln called "man's vast future." 

This tremendous change of the past forty or fifty years— 
this emergence of America to the leadership of the Western 
World— will undoubtedly affect our children's children, and 
the long generations to come, in the most sweeping way. It 
will loom up, in time to come, and tremendously as the great 
changes which preceded it— as the Revolution internal and 
external, the American conquest of the frontier and the fron- 
tier's conquest of the American, the death of slavery and the 
birth of machine industry. But the full significance of this 
development will not become evident until it, too, is given 
the dual or multiple interpretation that historians gave these 
older developments. We shall not understand its essential 
character until all the accompanying phenomena, social, eco- 
nomic, and intellectual, have been analyzed, and some mind 
as electric as Parrington's and as penetrating as Turner's has 
pierced nearer its heart. What then will be its significance? 
That is a question we cannot answer; it is for the oncoming 
generation of historians. 

My own guess is that this great development by which 
America has been projected into world leadership, with all 

248 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the exhilarations and perils, the opportunities and costs of 
that position, will in some fashion be connected, by future 
interpreters, with the advent of an age of mass action, mass 
production, and mass psychology in American life. From be- 
ing one of the most unorganized, the most invertebrate of 
nations, in 1860, we have grown into the most powerfully 
and efficiently organized people on the globe. Our popula- 
tion of 155,000,000 disposes of its resources through such 
mass combinations, political, social, and economic, as man- 
kind never saw before. Our thinking in 1865 was still indi- 
vidual thinking; today it is largely mass thinking, shaped and 
colored by mass-media of unparalleled and sometimes dis- 
maying potency— press, radio, television, cinema. No one can 
go to what were recently primitive frontier communities in 
America— say Texas and California— without being struck, 
and a little appalled, by the complexity and efficiency with 
which they have organized their life. It was our mass pro- 
duction which won the two last world wars; it was our genius 
for making big organizations work which has built the means 
for saving western democracy since the latest world war. Our 
national outlook, once that of the individualistic pioneer, has 
become a social outlook. Without this pervasive internal 
change, our new position in the world would have been 

The striking shift in our character and our world position 
in the last half century of course has some direct results, al- 
ready visible, in our interpretation of history. We are evincing 
a greater militancy in asserting the virtues of our political 
and social system. The apologetic attitude of the years of the 
Great Depression is gone. We can henceforth be more confi- 
dent, and more energetic, in asserting that our way of life, 
called decadent by our enemies, has proved itself historically 
to be freer, more flexible, and more humane than any other 
in history. We can be as emphatic and frank as ever in de- 
scribing our past weaknesses, from slavery to slums, but we 
shall insist more rigorously on the fundamental healthiness 
of our system, and on its proved ability to mend its de- 
fects and give us a constantly self-regenerating society. 

We shall also evince, I think, a tendency to insist more 
emphatically on the fundamental unity of the United States 

New Lamps for old in History 249 

with Western Europe, and the various other nations sprung 
from Western Europe. All kinds of western institutions and 
virtues now find their principal stronghold in the United 
States. The literature written in the English tongue increas- 
ingly has its main centre of vitality in America, a fact well 
recognized by the London Times Literary Supplement. The 
Roman Catholic Church, like the Protestant churches, finds 
its chief springs of wealth and power in the United States. 
The Atlantic Community, as many publicists term it, has 
taken the place of the former division between Europe and 
the Americas. Oldtime quarrels between America and West- 
ern Europe have lost a great part of the significance which 
was once attached to them. What does the War of 1812 
count for compared with the maintenance and growth of the 
political, social, and cultural ties that have made the English- 
speaking nations so nearly a unit? The nationalistic view of 
our history will increasingly be replaced by the international 
view, treating America as part of a great historic civilization 
with the Atlantic its center, as the Mediterranean was the 
center of the ancient world; the tides of population, power, 
and influence first moving from Europe to America, and then 
beginning to flow in the opposite direction. 

We may look forward, also, to a more appreciative atti- 
tude toward our material strength, and to a more scientific 
treatment of the factors which have created this material 
power. In the past our historians were apologetic about our 
love of the dollar, our race to wealth, our interest in material 
objects; they deprecated our worship of size, and deplored 
our boastfulness about steel tonnage, grain production, and 
output of machinery. Clio, with her tradition of devotion to 
moral values, was scornful of any others. Our writers in 
general— for the historians but followed the poets, the novel- 
ists, and the dramatists— intimated that America had grown 
too fast, too coarsely, too muscularly; they exalted the rural 
virtues as against industrial might, the rarefied air of the 
study as against the smoky atmosphere of the mill. 

Without denying that many accompaniments of our swift 
industrialization were unhappy, that many business leaders 
were guilty of offences which can not be condoned, we can 

250 The North Carolina Historical Review 

now assert that this historical attitude was erroneous. The 
nation grew none too fast. We can see today that all its 
wealth, all its strength, were needed to meet a succession of 
world crises— and we still dwell in a crisis era. Had we ap- 
plied restrictions to keep our economy small, tame, and timid, 
we would have lost the first World War. Had the United 
States not possessed the mightiest oil industry, the greatest 
steel industry, the largest automotive factories, the most 
efficient machine-tool industry, the best technological 
schools, and the most ingenious working force in the world, 
we would indubitably have lost the second World War. Were 
we significantly weaker today in technical skills, in great 
mills and factories, and the scientific knowledge which gave 
us priority with the atomic bomb and hydrogen bomb, all 
Western Europe would be cowering— we ourselves would 
perhaps be cowering— before the knout held by the Kremlin. 
The architects of our material growth— the men like Whitney, 
McCormick, Westinghouse, Rockefeller, Carnegie, Hill, and 
Ford— will yet stand forth in their true stature as builders 
of a strength which civilization found indispensable. As 
that realization spreads, industrial archives like that created 
in Dearborn by the vision of the Ford Motor Company will 
take their place as equal in importance to the political and 
cultural archives so long indispensable to students of our 

It will yet be realized that the industrial revolution in the 
United States came none too soon, and none too fast; and 
that the ensuing mass production revolution as yet so little 
understood by Americans, was not born a day too early. That 
is a fact which is well appreciated in Manchester and Lon- 
don, in Paris and Berlin, and in Moscow. We shall also come 
to realize that the turmoil and human suffering which in- 
escapably accompanied the industrial revolution and the 
mass-production revolution were not after all a tremendous 
price to pay for their benefits. The price was smaller in the 
United States than in foreign lands. The industrial revolution 
cost less in human travail here than it did in England, where 
it first came to birth; less than in Germany or Japan; far less 
than it is costing in Russia. Here is a wide field for the re- 

New Lamps for old in History 251 

writing of American history, and for the re-education of the 
American people; a field in which all archivists may con- 
tribute their due share. 

Our material might, to be sure, is valuable only as it sup- 
ports, and carries to victory, great moral ideas; only as it 
buttresses a civilization in which spiritual forces are pre- 
dominant. But the fundamental difference between the dem- 
ocratic world and the totalitarian world lies precisely in the 
superior position which we give to moral and spiritual 
values. It is we, not our enemies, who have the right to talk 
about what Lincoln called "man's vast future," for we really 
value men as individual souls. Behind our dreams of man's 
vast future, we mobilize an unconquerable strength. In time, 
when future historians look back on this period, which to us 
is so full of struggle, sacrifice, and anxious uncertainty, they 
will perhaps give it an interpretation of exalted character. 
They may say: "The era in which the United States, sum- 
moning all its strength, led democracy in winning the first 
World War, the second World War, and the ensuing strug- 
gle against the Communist tyranny, was one of the great 
eras of history. It stands invested with all the radiance of the 
Periclean era, the Elizabethan era, and the era of Pitt and 
the long struggle against Napoleon." 

By Mary Lindsay Thornton 

Philosophy and Religion 

BURGESS, CALEB RIGHT. The greatest of these is love. 
Raleigh, Brotherhood Press, Inc. [c. 1953] 245 p. $3.00. 

FARMER, FOY (JOHNSON). Hitherto; history of North Caro- 
lina Woman's Missionary Union of North Carolina, 1952. 
171 p. il. $1.50, $.85 pa. Order from Author, 199 Hillsboro St., 

KATTSOFF, LOUIS OSGOOD. Elements of philosophy. New 
York, Ronald Press Co. [1953] 448 p. $4.00. 

LAFFERTY, ROBERT H. ed. History of the Second Presby- 
terian Church, Charlotte, North Carolina, 1873-1947. [Char- 
lotte, Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1953] 118 p. il. Apply. 

MADDRY, CHARLES EDWARD. History of the First Baptist 
Church of Hillsboro, North Carolina. [Raleigh, Edwards and 
Broughton] 1953. 31 p. il. Apply. 

MORGAN, JACOB L., ed. History of the Lutheran Church in 
North Carolina, edited by Jacob L. Morgan, Bachman S. 
Brown, Jr., and John Hall. [Salisbury] United Evangelical 
Lutheran Synod of North Carolina, 1953. 407 p. il. 

PATTERSON, ROBERT LEET. The philosophy of William 
Ellery Channing. New York, Bookman Associates, 1952. 298 p. 

SMITH, MARY LORRAINE, ed. Historic churches of the South ; 
a collection of articles published in Holland's, the Magazine of 
the South. Atlanta, Tupper and Love, Inc. [c. 1952] 125 p. il. 
$3.50. St. James, Wilmington, and Steele Creek, Mecklenburg 
County, are included. 

TIPPETT, JAMES STERLING. Jesus lights the Sabbath lamp. 
Nashville, Tenn., Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, c. 1953. Un- 
paged, il. $1.00. Juvenile. 

WIDGERY, ALBAN GREGORY. What is religion? New York, 
Harper [1953] 330 p. $5.00. 

1 Books dealing with North Carolina or by North Carolinians published 
during the year ending August 31, 1953. 

[252 ] 


North Carolina Bibliography, 1952-1953 253 

WILLIAMS, REESE F. The star and the door of hope; evidence 
of the divinity of Christ. New York, William-Frederick Press, 
1952. 91 p. $2.50. 

WINCHESTER, GEORGE T. A story of Union County and the 
History of Pleasant Grove Camp Ground. Mineral Springs, 
N. C, Author [1937] 103 p. il. Apply. 

Economics and Sociology 

BLACK, ROBERT C. The railroads of the Confederacy. Chapel 
Hill, University of North Carolina Press [1952] xiv, 360 p. il. 

BLACKWELL, GORDON WILLIAMS. Future citizens all [by] 
Gordon W. Blackwell and Raymond F. Gould. Chicago, Amer- 
ican Public Welfare Association, 1952. xxix, 181 p. il. $2.00 pa. 

COLE, TAYLOR, ed. European political systems. New York, 
Alfred A. Knopf, 1953, 669, xxi p. College ed. $6.00. 

tary history of the University of North Carolina, 1776-1799, 
edited with a pref. by Louis R. Wilson and Hugh T. Lefler. 
Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1953. 2 v. 

DUKE UNIVERSITY, Durham, N. C. The Duke University cen- 
tennial conference on teacher training, edited by William H. 
Cartwright and William B. Hamilton. Durham, N. C, Duke 
University Press, 1953. (Historical papers of the Trinity Col- 
lege Historical Society, ser. 30) vii, 119 p. $1.00 pa. 

EWING, CORTEZ ARTHUR MILTON. Primary elections in the 
South; a study in uniparty politics. Norman, University of 
Oklahoma Press [c. 1953] xii, 112 p. $2.75. 

GREEN, PHILIP PALMER, JR. Zoning in North Carolina. 
Chapel Hill, Institute of Government, University of North 
Carolina [1952] xv, 428 p. il. Apply. 

HAYMAN, DONALD BALES. County salary determination and 
administration in North Carolina. Chapel Hill, Institute of 
Government, University of North Carolina, 1952. [3] 39 p. 

HAYMAN, DONALD BALES. Police standards, conditions of 
employment and compensation in North Carolina. Chapel Hill, 
Institute of Government, University of North Carolina, 1952. 
43 p. Apply. 

254 The North Carolina Historical Review 

HAYMAN, DONALD BALES. Social security and state and 
local retirement in North Carolina. Chapel Hill, Institute of 
Government, University of North Carolina [1953] xxi, 171 p. 

HUNTER, FLOYD. Community power structure ; a study of de- 
cision makers. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina 
Press [1953] xiv, 297 p. il. $5.00. 

REISER, ALBERT. College names, their origin and significance. 
New York, Bookman Associates [1952] 184 p. $3.00. 

KNIGHT, EDGAR WALLACE, ed. A documentary history of 
education in the South before 1860. Volume IV: Private and 
denominational efforts. Chapel Hill, University of North Caro- 
lina Press [c. 1953] vii, 516 p. $12.50. 

KNIGHT, EDGAR WALLACE, ed. Readings in educational ad- 
ministration. New York, Henry Holt and Co., Inc. [1953] 
534 p. $4.85. 

LAKE, ISAAC BEVERLY. North Carolina practice methods. 
St. Paul, West Publishing Co., 1952. 837 p. $20.00. 

MASON, LUCY RANDOLPH. To win these rights; a personal 
story of the CIO in the South. New York, Harper [1952] 206 
p. $3.00. 

MYREN, RICHARD ALBERT. Coroners in North Carolina, a 
discussion of their problems. Chapel Hill, Institute of Govern- 
ment, University of North Carolina, 1953. 71 p. Apply. 

1953 legislation, General Assembly of North Carolina. Chapel 
Hill, Institute of Government, University of North Carolina 
[1953] xx, 179 p. Apply. 

PARKINS, MAURICE FRANK. City planning in Soviet Russia, 
with an interpretative bibliography. [Chicago] University of 
Chicago Press [1953] xiv, 257 p. $6.00. 

REID, PAUL APPERSON. Gubernatorial campaigns and ad- 
ministrations of David S. Reid, 1848-1854. Cullowhee, N. C, 
Western Carolina College, 1953. (Its Bulletin. July, 1953. v. 30, 
no. 3) 119 p. pa. Apply. 

SHEPARD, GEORGE EDWARD. Interscholastic athletics [by] 
George E. Shepard [and] Richard E. Jamerson. New York, 
McGraw Hill, 1953. 276 p. il. $4.00. 

North Carolina Bibliography, 1952-1953 255 

SHUTE, JOHN RAYMOND. Soft tolls the bell. Monroe, N. C, 
Privately printed, Nocalore Press [1953] 64 p. il. Limited to 
99 copies. $10.00. 

SITTERSON, JOSEPH CARLYLE. Sugar country; the cane 
sugar industry in the South, 1753-1950. [Lexington] Univer- 
sity of Kentucky Press [1953] ix, 414 p. il. $4.00. 

TINDALL, GEORGE BROWN. South Carolina Negroes, 1877- 
1900. Columbia, University of South Carolina Press, 1952. 
336 p. il. $5.00. 

U. S. BUREAU OF THE CENSUS. United States census of agri- 
culture : 1950. Volume I, part 16 : Counties and state economic 
areas, North Carolina and South Carolina. [Washington] U. S. 
Govt. Print. Off. 1952. xx, 604 p. $3.00 pa. 

WAYNICK, CAPUS. North Carolina roads and their builders. 
Raleigh, Superior Stone Company, 1952. 308 p. il. Apply, 


WILSON, GEORGE PICKETT. Down in the holler; a gallery of 
Ozark folk speech [by] Vance Randolph and George P. Wilson. 
Norman, University of Oklahoma Press [1953] ix, 320 p. $5.00. 


BEAL, JAMES ALLEN [and others] Forest insects of the 
Southeast, with special reference to species occurring in the 
Piedmont plateau of North Carolina. Durham, Duke Univer- 
sity School of Forestry, 1952. 168 p. il. $2.50 pa. 

GREENE, WILHELMINA F. Flowers of the South, native and 
exotic, by Wilhelmina F. Greene and Hugo L. Blomquist. 
Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press [1953] xiv, 
208 p. il. $5.00. 

ODUM, EUGENE PLEASANTS. Fundamentals of ecology. 
Philadelphia, W. B. Saunders Co., 1953. 384 p. 

Applied Science and Useful Arts 

CUTTEN, GEORGE BARTON. Silversmiths of Virginia, to- 
gether with watchmakers and jewelers from 1694 to 1850. 
Richmond, Dietz Press, 1952. xxiv, 259 p. il. $10.00. 

HARDAWAY, MATHILDA. Tests and measurements in busi- 
ness education, by Mathilde Hardaway and Thomas B. Maier. 
Cincinnati, South-Western Publishing Co., 1952. 434 p. il. 

256 The North Carolina Historical Review 

MacNIDER, WILLIAM de BERNIERE. The good doctor, and 
other selections from the essays and addresses of William de 
Berniere MacNider ; with tributes by Robert B. House, William 
M. Coppridge [and] Victor S. Bryant. Edited by William W. 
McLendon and Shirley Graves Cochrane. Chapel Hill, Univer- 
sity of North Carolina Press [1953] xxxiv, 179 p. il. $5.00. 

MAIN, CHARLES T. Potentials of the woolen and worsted in- 
dustry in North Carolina. Boston, Author, 1952. 46 p. il. Apply 
North Carolina Department of Conservation and Develop- 
ment, Raleigh. 

MORRIS, LLOYD R. Ceiling unlimited, the story of American 
aviation from Kitty Hawk to supersonics, by Lloyd Morris 
and Kendall Smith. New York, Macmillan [1953] 417 p. il. 

Carolina Health Council, North Carolina health organizations. 
[Raleigh, The Council, 1952] 62 p. $.75 pa. Order from Felix 
A. Grisette, 216 N. Dawson St., Raleigh. 

RICHARDSON, FRANK HOWARD. For boys only; the doctor 
discusses the mysteries of manhood. Atlanta, Tupper and Love, 
1952. 91 p. $2.75. 

RICHARDSON, FRANK HOWARD. For girls only; the doctor 
discusses the mysteries of womanhood. Atlanta, Tupper and 
Love, 1953. 98 p. $2.50. 

RICHARDSON, FRANK HOWARD. The nursing mother. New 
York, Prentice Hall, Inc., 1953. 204 p. il. $2.95. 

UNDERWOOD, RAYE MILLER. The complete book of dried 
arrangements. New York, M. Barrows [1952] 193 p. il. 

Fine Arts 

MUSIC and dance in the Southeastern States. Sigmund Spaeth, 
editor-in-chief; William J. Perlman, director and managing 
editor. New York, Bureau of Musical Research [1952] 331 p. 
il. $5.00. 


HANES, FRANK BORDEN. 2 The Bat brothers. New York, 
Farrar, Straus and Young [1953] 304 p. $3.00. 

McKAY, ELIZABETH WHITFIELD. Fruits in season. New 
York, New Voices Publishing Co. [1952] 57 p. $2.00. 

a Roanoke- Chowan award for poetry. 

North Carolina Bibliography, 1952-1953 257 

MEDLEY, MARY LOUISE. Dogwood winter, poems. Raleigh, 
Wolfs Head Press, 1952. 64 p. $2.00. 

PEARSON, JAMES LARKIN. Early harvest: the first experi- 
mental poems of a self-taught farm boy. Guilford College, 
Pearson Press, 1953. 104 p. $2.00. 

PRICE, MERLE. Splendid rumor. Emory University, Ga„ 
Banner Press [c. 1953] 60 p. $2.00. 

RABY, MATTIE PEARL. Voice of acceptance. New York, 
Vantage Press, Inc. [c. 1953] 42 p. $2.00. 

YOUNG, CHARLOTTE. The heart has reasons. Emory Univer- 
sity, Ga., Banner Press [c. 1953] 60 p. $2.00. 

Fiction 3 

BOTHWELL, JEAN. Lost colony, the mystery of Roanoke 
Island. Philadelphia, John C. Winston Co., 1953. 182 p. il. 
$1.50. Juvenile. 

BURGWYN, MEBANE (HOLOMAN) Penny Rose. New York, 
Oxford University Press, 1952. 223 p. $3.00. Juvenile. 

CHAPMAN, MARSTAN, pseud. Tennessee Hazard. Philadel- 
phia, J. B. Lippincott Co. [1953] 367 p. $3.95. Juvenile. 

The Macmillan Co., 1953. 64 p. il. $2.00. Juvenile. 

DAVIS, BURKE. Yorktown. New York, Rinehart and Co. 
[1952] 306 p. $3.50. 

FLETCHER, INGLIS. 4 Queen's gift. Indianapolis, Bobbs-Merrill 
Co., Inc. [1952] 448 p. $3.75. 

GERSON, NOEL B. The Cumberland rifles. Garden City, N. Y., 
Doubleday and Co., Inc., 1952. 314 p. $3.50. 

JUSTUS, MAY. Children of the Great Smoky Mountains. New 
York, E. P. Dutton and Co., Inc., 1952. 158 p. il. $2.52. Juvenile. 

LATHAM, EDYTHE. The sounding brass. Boston, Little, 
Brown, and Co. [1953] 465 p. $4.50. 

LEONARD, BURGESS. Second-season jinx. Philadelphia, J. B. 
Lippincott Co. [1953] 216 p. $2.50. Juvenile. 

MACAULEY, ROBIE. Disguises of love. New York, Random 
House, 1952. 282 p. $3.00. 

3 By a North Carolinian or with the scene laid in North Carolina. 

4 Sir Walter Raleigh Award (with Patton, Frances Gray. The finer 
things of life. 1951). 

258 The North Carolina Historical Review 

MARTENET, MAY DAVIES. Taw Jameson. New York, 
Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1953. 352 p. $3.75. 

OLDS, HELEN (DIEHL) Peanut butter mascot. New York, 
J. Messner [1953] 61 p. il. $1.60. Juvenile. 

PIERCE, OVID WILLIAMS. The plantation. Garden City, N. Y., 
Doubleday and Co., Inc., 1953. 217 p. $3.00. 

PORTER, MARTHA BYRD (SPRUILL) Tomorrow is another 
day, a comedy of manners. New York, Exposition Press [1952] 
268 p. $3.00. 

ROGERS, LETTIE (HAMLETT) Landscape of the heart. New 
York, Random House [1953] 248 p. $3.00. 

ROUNDS, GLEN. Lone muskrat; written and illustrated by 
Glen Rounds. New York, Holiday House [1953] 124 p. il. 
$2.25. Juvenile. 

SLAUGHTER, FRANK GILL. The Galileans, a novel of Mary 
Magdalene. Garden City, N. Y., Doubleday and Co., Inc., 1953. 
307 p. $3.50. 

SPRINKLE, REBECCA K. A house for Leander. New York, 
Abingdon-Cokesbury Press [1953] 47 p. il. $1.50. Juvenile. 

STEELE, WILLIAM O. John Sevier, pioneer boy. Indianapolis, 
Bobbs-Merrill Co., Inc. [1953] 192 p. il. $1.75. Juvenile. 

STREET, JAMES. The velvet doublet. Garden City, N. Y., 
Doubleday and Co., Inc., 1953. 351 p. $3.50. 

WAGSTAFF, HENRY McGILBERT. Wiley Buck and other 
stories of the Concord community. Chapel Hill, University of 
North Carolina Press [1953] 118 p. $3.00. 

WELLMAN, MANLY WADE. The last mammoth. New York, 
Holiday House [1953] 222 p. $2.50. Juvenile. 

WELLMAN, MANLY WADE. Wild dogs of Drowning Creek. 
New York, Holiday House [1952] 221 p. $2.50. 

Literature Other Than Poetry, Drama, or Fiction 

BAILEY, JAMES OSLER. Proper words in proper places. New 
York, American Book Co. [1952] 473 p. $3.25. 

FRIEDERICH, WERNER PAUL, ed. Yearbook of comparative 
and general literature. Chapel Hill, University of North Caro- 
lina Press, 1953. 175 p. $3.50. 

JARRELL, RANDALL. Poetry and the age. New York, Alfred 
A. Knopf, 1953. x, 271 p. $4.00. 

North Carolina Bibliography, 1952-1953 259 

LINKER, ROBERT WHITE, trans. Chrestien de Trois: The 
story of the Grail. Chapel Hill, N. C, The Book Exchange, 
1952. 202 p. $4.90. 


BELL, ANNIE (WALKER) BURNS, comp. List of taxable 
property in the County of Rowan, North Carolina, anno 1778, 
transcribed from several lists. . . by Ad. Osborne, Clerk of the 
Court, indexed by Annie Walker Burns. Washington, The Com- 
piler [1935] 49 p. $5.40. Order from the Compiler, Box 6183, 
Apex, Washington, D. C. 

BROUGHTON, CARRIE L. Marriage and death notices in 
Raleigh Register, North Carolina State Gazette, Daily Sentinel, 
Raleigh Observer, and News and Observer, 1888-1893. 
[Raleigh, The State Library, 1952] 857-927 p. Apply. 

FOUNTAIN, ALVIN MARCUS. Descendants of John R. Foun- 
tain. Raleigh, A. M. Fountain, 1952. 37 p. il. Apply Author, 
Box 5434, State College, Raleigh, N. C. 

PORTER, LEONA (BRYSON) The family of Weimar Siler, 
1755-1831. Franklin, N. C, Committee Appointed at the 100th 
Meeting of the Family, 1951. 178 [9] p. il. $3.00. Order from 
Weimer Jones, Chapel Hill, N. C. 

SKILLMAN, LULA HUNTER, ed. Davis : History of the des- 
cendants of Peter Davis, 1752-1952. [Gainesville, Fla., The 
Editor] 1953. [25] 52 p. Apply. 

WILBURN, HIRAM COLEMAN. Welborn-Wilborn history- 
genealogy; the families in Virginia — North Carolina and 
South Carolina. Waynesville, N. C, Hiram C. Wilburn, c. 1953. 
104 p. coat-of-arms. $2.25. Order from Author, Waynesville, 
N. C. 

History and Travel 

BILLINGS, HENRY. All down the valley. New York, Viking 
Press, 1952. 208 p. il. $3.50. Juvenile. 

BLEEKER, SONIA. The Cherokee, Indians of the mountains. 
New York, William Morrow and Co., Inc., 1952. 159 p. il. $2.00. 

BOND, RICHMOND PUGH. Queen Anne's American kings. 
Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1952. vii, 148 p. il. $5.00. 

BONNER, EUGENE. Sicilian roundabout. New York, Coward 
McCann, Inc., [1952] 193 p. il. $5.00. 

260 The North Carolina Historical Review 

BRIDENBAUGH, CARL. Myths and realities, societies of the 
colonial South. Baton Rouge, La., Louisiana State University 
[c. 1952] x, 208 p. $3.25. 

BRYAN, THOMAS CONN. Confederate Georgia. Athens, Uni- 
versity of Georgia Press, 1953. 299 p. $4.50. 

CRAVEN, AVERY ODELLE. The growth of southern national- 
ism, 1848-1861. [Baton Rouge] Louisiana University Press, 
1953. xi, 433 p. il. $6.50. 

EPSTEIN, SAMUEL. The real book about pirates. Garden City, 
N. Y., Garden City Books [1952] 192 p. il. $1.25. Juvenile. 

FOREMAN, GRANT. Indian removal; the emigration of the 
Five Civilized Tribes of Indians. Norman, University of Okla- 
homa Press [1953] 415 p. il. $6.00. 

JOHNSON, GERALD WHITE. Pattern for liberty; the story 
of old Philadelphia. New York, McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc. 
[1952] 146 p. il. $7.50. 

KARRAKER, CYRUS HARRELD. Piracy was a business. 
Rindge, N. H., R. R. Smith, 1953. 244 p. il. $3.50. 

MASSEY, MARY ELIZABETH. Ersatz in the Confederacy. 
Columbia, University of South Carolina Press, 1952. xii, 233 p. 
il. $5.00. 

MATTHEWS, MARY GREEN. Wheels of faith and courage ; a 
history of Thomasville, North Carolina, by Mary Green Mat- 
thews and M. Jewell Sink [Thomasville, N. C, 1952] 216 p. il. 
$5.00. Order from City Council, Thomasville, N. C. 

temporary civilization. Raleigh, School of General Studies, 
North Carolina State College, 1952. 530 p. 

OUTLAW, EDWARD RALPH. Old Nag's Head; personal recol- 
lections and some history of the region in North Carolina at 
the edge of the sea where our first colonists landed. [Elizabeth 
City, N. C, 1952] Unpaged, il. 

RUARK, ROBERT CHESTER. Horn of the hunter. Garden 
City, N. Y., Doubleday and Co., Inc., 1953. 315 p. il. $5.95. 

SYDNOR, CHARLES SACKETT. Gentlemen freeholders; polit- 
ical practices in Washington's Virginia. Chapel Hill, Univer- 
sity of North Carolina Press [1952] ix, 180 p. $3.50. 

North Carolina Bibliography, 1952-1953 261 

Autobiography and Biography 

ALDERMAN, SIDNEY SHERRILL. Three Americans in Paris, 
spring, 1919. [Durham, N. C] Duke University Press, 1952. 
126 p. il. $2.50. 

BROWN, JOHN MASON. Daniel Boone: the opening of the 
wilderness. New York, Random House [1952] 181 p. il. $1.50. 

GREEN, CHARLES SYLVESTER. B. W. Spilman, the Sunday 
School man. Nashville, Broadman Press [1953] 154 p. il. $2.00. 

GREEN, GRACE E. The pilgrim from the hills; a biography of 
Lucius Bunyan Compton. [Asheville? The Eliada Home for 
Children, 1952?] 210 p. il. Apply. 

JOHNSON, GERALD WHITE. The making of a southern in- 
dustrialist; a biographical study of Simpson Bobo Tanner. 
Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press [1952] 84 p. 
il. $2.00. 

JOHNSON, LEONARD E. Men of achievement in the Carolinas, 
their contributions to the rapid development of the two states, 
by Leonard E. Johnson and Lloyd M. Smith. [Charlotte, Men 
of Achievement, Inc., c. 1952] viii, 341 p. il. 

LINA LIBRARY ASSOCIATION. North Carolina authors: a 
selective handbook. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina 
Library, 1952. 136 p. $3.00 bound, $1.50 pa. 

KEITH, ALICE BARNWELL, ed. The John Gray Blount papers 
edited by Alice Barnwell Keith. Raleigh, State Department of 
Archives and History, 1952. v. 1, 572 p. il. Mailing fee $1.00. 

LATTA, ESTELLE (COCHRAN) Controversial Mark Hopkins, 
by Estelle Latta, in collaboration with Mary L. Allison. New 
York, Greenberg [1953] 195 p. il. $3.00. 

London, Falcon Educational Books [1952] 126 p. il. $2.00. 

NORMAN, CHARLES. The shepherd of the ocean: Sir Walter 
Raleigh. New York, D. McKay Co. [1952] 179 p. il. $2.75. 

POWELL, HAROLD. Deacon beacons, by Harold Powell and 
Tommy Olive. Wake Forest, N. C, The Authors, 1953. 56 p. il. 
$1.00 pa. 

262 The North Carolina Historical Review 

SANDBURG, CARL. Always the young strangers. New York, 
Harcourt, Brace and Co., Inc. [1953] 445 p. il. $5.00. 

SHANKS, HENRY THOMAS, ed. Papers of Willie Person 
Mangum. Volume two : 1833-1838. Raleigh, State Department 
of Archives and History, 1952. xxi, 573 p. il. $1.00 mailing fee. 

SLOOP, MARY T. (MARTIN) 5 Miracle in the hills, by Mary T. 
Martin Sloop, with LeGette Blythe. New York, McGraw-Hill 
Book Co., Inc. [1953] 232 p. il. $3.50. 

SPELLMAN, CECIL LLOYD. Rough steps on my stairway; the 
life history of a Negro educator. New York, Exposition Press 
[1953] 273 p. $3.50. 

WALSER, RICHARD GAITHER, ed. The enigma of Thomas 
Wolfe; biographical and critical selections. Cambridge, Har- 
vard University Press, 1953. xi, 313 p. $4.75. 

WASHBURN, JIM. Jim, the boy; autobiographical sketches of 
the author's first 18 years. Lake Lure, N. C, Author, 1952. 
115 p. il. Apply. 

WIGGS, L. D. Thirty-nine years with the great I am. Goldsboro, 
N. C, Author, 1953. 154 p. $2.50. 

New Editions and Reprints 

BROWN, MARION LEA. The Southern cook book. New York, 
Pocket Books, Inc. [1953] x, 414 p. $.35 pa. 

CHAPMAN, PAUL WILBER. Southern crops, by Paul W. 
Chapman and Roy H. Thomas. Atlanta, T. E. Smith [1953] 
503 p. il. $3.39. 

CORBITT, DAVID LEROY, ed. Explorations, descriptions, and 
attempted settlements of Carolina, 1584-1590. Raleigh, State 
Department of Archives and History, 1953. vi, 154 p. il. Apply. 

DAVIS, BURKE. The ragged ones. New York, Pocket Books 
[1953] 353 p. $.35 pa. 

FLETCHER, INGLIS. Men of Albemarle. Garden City, N. Y., 
Permabooks [1952] 512 p. $.35 pa. 

FLETCHER, INGLIS. Raleigh's Eden (abridged) Garden City, 
N. Y., Permabooks, 1953. 480 p. $.35 pa. 

FLETCHER, INGLIS. Toil of the brave. Garden City, N. Y., 
Permabooks [1953] 504 p. $.35 pa. 

Mayflower award, 1953. 

North Carolina Bibliography, 1952-1953 263 

GILBERT, KATHARINE. A history of esthetics, by Katharine 
Gilbert and Helmut Kuhn. Rev. and enl. ed. Bloomington, Indi- 
ana University Press, 1953. 634 p. $7.50, text ed., $5.75. 

HENRY, 0., pseud, of WILLIAM SYDNEY PORTER. Complete 
works of 0. Henry ; foreword by Harry Hansen. Garden City, 
N. Y., Doubleday and Co., Inc., 1953. 2 v. (xiii, 1692 p.) $10.00. 

HICKERSON, THOMAS FELIX. Route location and surveying; 
formerly published under the title of Highway Surveying and 
Planning, 3rd ed. New York, McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc., 1953. 
543 p. il. $6.00. 

HILL, REUBEN LORENZO, JR. When you marry [by] Evelyn 
Millis Duvall [and] Reuben Hill. Rev. ed. New York, Associa- 
tion Press, [1953] 466 p. il. $3.75. 

KENAN, WILLIAM RAND. History of Randleigh Farm. 
Seventh ed. Lockport. N. Y., Author, c. 1953. xvi, 246 p. il. 

LILIENTHAL, DAVID ELI. TVA; democracy on the march. 
New York, Harper [1953] xxiv, 294 p. il. $3.00. 

NASH, FRANK. Hillsboro, colonial and revolutionary. Chapel 
Hill, The Orange Printshop, 1953. xii, 96 p. $1.50 pa. Order 
from Mrs. Frank Nash, Chapel Hill, N. C. 

WORKS COMMISSION. State, county, and municipal high- 
way systems, corrected to January 1, 1953. [Raleigh, 1953] 
Unpaged. $10.00, pa. 

OLMSTED, FREDERICK LAW. The Cotton Kingdom; a travel- 
ler's observations on cotton and slavery in the American slave 
states. Edited, with an introduction by Arthur M. Schlesinger. 
New York, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1953. lxiii, 626, xvi p. il. 

PAGE, WALTER HINES. The school that built a town; with an 
introductory chapter by Roy E. Larsen. New York, Harper 
and Brothers [1952] 109 p. $1.75. Based on The rebuilding 
of old commonwealths. 

ROSS, JAMES. They don't dance much (abridged) New York, 
New American Library of World Literature, 1952. $.25. 

SLAUGHTER, FRANK GILL. East side General. Garden City, 
N. Y., Permabooks [1953] 347 p. $.35 pa. 

SLAUGHTER, FRANK GILL. Spencer Brade, M.D. Garden 
City, N. Y. Permabooks [c. 1953] 391 p. $.35 pa. 

264 The North Carolina Historical, Review 

SLAUGHTER, FRANK GILL. The stubborn heart. [New York] 
New American Library of World Literature [1952] 336 p. 
$.25 pa. 

SLAUGHTER, FRANK GILL. Your body and your mind: the 
new science of psychomatic medicine. New York, New Amer- 
ican Library of World Literature, 1953. 187 p. $.25 pa. 

STREET, JAMES HOWELL. Tomorrow we reap, by James H. 
Street and James S. Childers. New York, Pocket Books, 1953. 
329 p. $.35 pa. 

WARREN, JULE BENJAMIN. North Carolina atlas and out- 
line maps, by Jule B. Warren and L. Polk Denmark. Raleigh, 
Warren Publishing Co., c. 1952. 48 p. maps $4.00. 

WOLFE, THOMAS. Von zeit und strom, eine legende vom 
hunger des menschen in der jugend, roman. Hamburg, 
Rowohlt [1952] 976 p. 


Gubernatorial Campaigns and Administrations of David S. Reid, 
1848-1854. By Paul Apperson Reid. (Cullowhee, N. C: Bul- 
letin of Western Carolina College. Vol. XXX, No. 3, July 1953. 
Pp. 119. No price.) 

The July, 1953, bulletin of Western Carolina College is de- 
voted to publication of a research paper by its president, 
Paul A. Reid. The author has chosen the gubernatorial career 
of David S. Reid of North Carolina, very properly beginning 
with his unsuccessful campaign for office in 1848 and closing 
with his election to the United States Senate in 1854. His 
three campaigns and two terms as governor are fully de- 
scribed from the available sources for the period. 

The chief political issue during these three campaigns was 
free suffrage, although internal improvements ran a close 
second. Reid as the candidate of the weakened Democratic 
party, in attempting to unseat the Whigs in 1848, made re- 
moval of the remnants of property restrictions on suffrage 
the keynote of the campaign. The Democrats, having at 
last found a popular issue, regained control of state politics 
in 1850, and the Whigs received their death blow. While to a 
degree the slavery question was significant, it played a 
relatively minor state role; and the true drama of this brief 
span is the awakening of North Carolina from a long sleep. 
Railroads, plank roads, geological surveys, and public 
schools, were the order of the day; by 1854 "Old Rip" no 
longer slumbered. 

Mr. Reid has done a careful job of research and his writing 
is unprejudiced. It is also unflavored and colorless. One may 
question the advisibility of chronological organization for a 
period of only six years; the topical approach would seem 
preferable. Maps would be helpful. This reviewer finds fault 
with the footnotes placed at the end of each chapter instead 
of conveniently at the bottom of the page. One also questions 
the validity of including Governor Thomas Bragg's legisla- 
ture in the administration of Reid, inasmuch as Reid's only 
contact with it was to deliver his final message and to accept 
his election to the Senate. 

[265 ] 

266 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Careful students of North Carolina history will be pleased 
that Governor Reid's administration has been described in 
such detail, and will find Mr. Reid's thesis useful. 

Sarah McCulloh Lemmon. 

Meredith College, 


A Documentary History of the University of North Carolina, 
1776-1799. Compiled and annotated by R. D. W. Connor, and 
edited with a preface by Louis R. Wilson and Hugh T. Lefler. 
(Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1953. 
2 volumes. Volume I, Pp. xxiv, 541. Volume II, Pp. xxiii, 532. 
Bibliographies and indices. $15.00.) 

The University of North Carolina, the first state university 
in the nation to graduate students, has been publishing an 
imposing list of titles as a part of its sesquicentennial cele- 
bration. In a sense these comprise a history of an institution 
whose genesis stems from a bill passed by the General As- 
sembly in 1754, but which was not chartered until 1789, and 
did not confer degrees upon its first graduating class until 
midsummer of 1798. These, in a very sense, were the founda- 
tion decades, years when supporters of the university were 
plagued with a multitude of problems involving land titles, 
political influence, fund raising, acquiring a faculty, and 
building a curriculum. Their story may be gleaned by a 
persistent reader from the pages of this two-volume documen- 
tary history, which was begun by Dr. Connor, first National 
Archivist, and, after his death, concluded by Louis R. Wilson, 
director of the sesquicentennial, and Hugh T. Lefler, profes- 
sor of history at the university. 

No short review can begin to catalog or even summarize 
adequately the more than four hundred source documents 
which have been located, transcribed, edited, and printed. 
They include not only obviously significant bills, charters, 
and minutes of the board of trustees, but also correspondence 
of the founding fathers, newspaper attacks, building bids and 
other financial transactions, and legal opinions. There are 
debating society rules and regulations, inventories of books 
in the library, notices of examinations, toasts to the univer- 

Book Reviews 267 

sity, commencement programs, confessions of misconduct, 
and records of expulsion. All these and more add knowledge 
in greater or lesser degree, and certainly such raw materials 
are essential for the writing of history. 

The collection is large enough and various enough to in- 
terest in some degree almost anyone who is concerned with 
the roots of the university. Even the casual browser will now 
and again stumble across dramatic incident and colorful 
detail. Yet these volumes, professionally edited as they are, 
leave something to be desired. Reading them is like peering 
through a glass that reveals details but mists the whole. Per- 
haps there are too many sources and perhaps some of these 
are trivial. Had the collection been pruned by at least a 
third, it, in the opinion of this reviewer, would have been 
vastly improved. And if it had been trimmed even more 
and then made to cover a longer chronological period, the 
result might have been a greater contribution and undoubt- 
edly would have attracted more general readers. Termi- 
nating the sources at about 1799 actually fails to do much 
more than get the infant institution under way and leaves 
unanswered the question: What happened after that? It is 
only fair to state in this connection that Dr. Connor had 
hoped to bring the documentary history to 1835. 

Finally, even if one assumes that each and every items in 
the two volumes is of real significance, there still remains 
the fact that The University of North Carolina does not have 
a recently written history which covers the period from 1776 
to 1799. Dr. Connor and his colleagues most certainly have 
assembled the basic sources for such a history, and their 
compilation will no doubt benefit an historian who in the 
future may be charged with the task. The very bringing to- 
gether of this material is no mean contribution and deserves 
the applause of those who appreciate the time and labor 
that always are a part of a project like this one. 

Philip D. Jordan. 
University of Minnesota, 

268 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Orange County— 1752-1952. Edited by Hugh Lefler and Paul 
Wager. (Chapel Hill: The Orange Printshop. 1953. Pp. xii, 
389. $3.00 paper-bound; $5.00 cloth-bound.) 

If any county can hope for a well-written history, that 
county is certainly Orange County, which is fortunate enough 
to claim the talents of that brilliant galaxy of historians who 
have been associated with The University of North Caro- 
lina. When the reader sees on the title page such distinguish- 
ed names as Fletcher Green, J. G. de R. Hamilton, Edgar W. 
Knight, and many others, he expects to find a local history 
well above the average, and this volume does not disappoint 

Although the cooperative authorship adopted here in- 
evitably leads to uneven quality, it has succeeded in pro- 
ducing a book while the celebration of the county's bicen- 
tennial was still fresh in the public mind, and it has allowed 
the editors to make good use of the special knowledge of 
the various authors. The history is organized chronologically 
for the first nine chapters, which carry it down to the end of 
the Reconstruction era; since then, Orange County, like so 
many others, seems to have had no history. The develop- 
ments after 1877, however, are treated incidentally in the 
chapters covering journalism, education, medicine, county 
government, agriculture, industry, churches, and fraternal 

The test of a good local history is its value to a person 
with little knowledge of the locality concerned, a test which 
this book passes with flying colors. Through its pages one 
obtains a close-up view of the history of North Carolina and 
of the South. Its details highlight the story of the settlement 
of the back country and the friction between that section and 
the seaboard, especially since Orange County was the cen- 
ter of the famed Regulator movement. Of similar value is 
the chapter on county government, which gives an excellent 
summary of two centuries of local government in North 

Local residents will derive additional pleasure from the 
scores of illustrations and will find reference value in the 
hundred-odd biographical sketches and the full historical 

Book Reviews 269 

list of office-holders. Although the editors regret that they 
were not able to produce the definitive history they would 
like to have seen, Orange County— 1752-1952 is still one of 
the best county histories yet written in the United States. 

Marvin W. Schlegel. 

Longwood College, 

Farmville, Va. 

St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 1753-1953. By William S. Powell. 
(Salisbury, N. C. : St. Luke's Episcopal Church. 1953. Pp. viii, 
76. $1.00.) 

Two hundred years ago St. Luke's Episcopal Church in 
Salisbury began its ministry to churchmen of the state, and 
to celebrate its birthday this beautiful little volume appeared 
as a memorial history. The story which it has to tell is a 
dramatic one. As an established church in a dissenting area, 
St. Luke's faced serious problems. Yet for each crisis— 
whether dissenter opposition, a weary succession of wars, 
ever-present financial insecurity, public apathy, or the west- 
ward movement— the young church triumphantly met the 
challenge. Leaders of prophetic stature saw the church grow 
through its difficulties until it became the significant spiritual 
force which it represents today. Mr. Powell has performed a 
useful work in patiently assembling the details of the church's 
past. For another reason, too, his work is valuable: it is 
source material for some future history of religion in North 

But it suffers from the usual— though unnecessary— difficul- 
ties of local history. It is, for the most part, a chronological 
account of ministers and their administrations, with little 
attempt at interpretation. Despite his lack of synthesis, how- 
ever, Mr. Powell has written an inspiring chapter in North 
Carolina religious history. He also included biographical 
sketches of rectors and a list of the memorials in the church. 
Photographs of the church beautifully illustrate the work. 

David L. Smiley. 
Wake Forest College, 
Wake Forest, N. C. 

270 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Southern Accent. By William T. Polk. (New York: William 
Morrow and Company. 1953. Pp. vii, 264. $4.00.) 

"This is a book about the South, written by a Southerner 
out of love, shame, admiration, exasperation, perplexity and 
fascination." Thus does Mr. Polk, associate editor of the 
Greensboro Daily News, characterize his volume which sur- 
veys innumerable facets of a great region whose importance 
is increasing rapidly, and whose problems today are the 
cynosure of the country's eyes. 

To interpret the entire South, of course, is no easy task, 
for it demands a knowledge of the several states of the section 
as well as objectivity. Actually, Southern Accent places 
major emphasis upon North Carolina, the commonwealth 
which perhaps the author knows best. And it is difficult, in- 
deed, for anyone, no matter how hard he strains, to be im- 
partial and judicial when dealing with questions of heat 
such as the aftermath of the Civil War, the decline of a plant- 
er aristocracy, the rise of incompetent politicians, the Negro 
and segregation. Yet Mr. Polk, while admitting prejudice, 
maintains a better balance than have some other commenta- 
tors. He is at least aware of vexing situations that have be- 
deviled the South for generations. 

Southern Accent is a series of essays, delightfully written 
and possessing the saving grace of humor, rather than an 
orderly developmental survey of the decline of the Old 
South and the emergence of the New. The book opens with 
an amusing and penetrating analysis of what the author con- 
siders the South to be. Then Mr. Polk asks the question: 
What is the South doing? He answers that industry and tech- 
nology are replacing agriculture and says further that the 
difference between the agrarian South and the new industrial 
South is that "the former never knew how much it made, 
while the latter knows very well because it gets paid every 
week." The South booms today because it offers men, ma- 
terials, and markets and because of a really intense emphasis 
upon research. 

It is easier, of course, to describe industrial development 
than to dissect away and lay bare the thoughts and the ways 
of thinking of a most complicated culture. Yet the author 
devotes a rather lengthy section to the mental processes of 

Book Reviews 271 

the South. Here enters the thorn of racial segregation, the 
rise of demagogues, and an interesting, although perhaps 
over-simplified, survey of the main currents in southern 
thought from 1850 to 1953. The main streams of contem- 
porary thought, writes Mr. Polk, are devoted to race relations, 
labor relations, politics, and industrialization. It is to be re- 
gretted that both education and religion do not receive ade- 
quate treatment, for it is difficult indeed for this reviewer to 
conceive of an interpretation of any society without serious 
consideration being given schools and educational philoso- 
phies and ways of belief and worship. 

In his final chapter, Mr. Polk lists three contributions the 
South may make to itself, the nation, and the world of inter- 
national affairs. The first is the solving or mitigating of the 
race problem "in a more humane and democratic fashion 
than it has yet done." Secondly, the South can once again 
attempt to elect and send to Washington, D. C, its best men. 
Finally, the South can bend its best intellectual effort toward 
the achieving of world peace. 

Stimulating and provocative, although not necessarily 
representative of the whole South, this volume is actually 
only the southern accent from the lips of one spokesman of 
a truly American region. At times, as has been indicated, 
over-simplification, the wise-crack, and the too-pat phrase 
mar the exposition, but, in general, the book seems to achieve 
its purpose. It is, as the author points out in his foreword, not 
a comprehensive picture of the region; it does over-empha- 
size North Carolina; it does "stretch things." And, as Mr. 
Polk admits, it is difficult to get at the truth, "whether for a 

Southerner or an outsider." 

Philip D. Jordan. 

University of Minnesota, 


Southern Renascence. The Literature of the Modern South. 
Edited by Louis D. Rubin, Jr., and Robert D. Jacobs. (Balti- 
more: The Johns Hopkins Press. 1953. Pp. xxi, 450. $5.00.) 

It is more than thirty years since H. L. Mencken mock- 
ingly called our South "The Sahara of Bozart" and dared us 
to produce some modern evidences of a culture which might 

272 The North Carolina Historical Review 

favorably compare with that of our ante-bellum past. How 
much Mr. Mencken's hackle-raising remarks had to do with 
the revival of letters in the South, one would find it hard to 
measure. That Mencken's insults are sadly out of date today, 
however, would be obvious to anyone who has followed the 
progress of American literature since 1920. Even Mencken 
himself admitted the anachronous nature of his essay when 
he recently reprinted it— as a sort of historical curiosity— in 
A Mencken Chrestomathy (1949). 

Today we have a literature and we can claim a group of 
southern-born authors of whom any region would be proud. 
They have won national and sometimes international ac- 
claim, and there seems a fair assurance that this fame will 
not be a mere ephemeral one. Not only have they attracted 
millions of readers, they have drawn the attention of serious 
critics in many quarters. 

In Southern Renascence the editors of The Hopkins Re- 
view have collected a group of twenty-nine critical studies 
of the literature of the modern South. Originally published in 
The Hopkins Review, the essays well deserved the republica- 
tion they have received; and the volume as a whole is an 
impressive critical contribution to our literature. The essays 
are arranged in four groups: "The Mind of the South," "The 
Themes of Southern Literature," "The Novelists of the 
South," and "The Poetry of the South." The third group, as 
one might expect, covers almost as many pages as the other 
three together; and this, one feels, is only proper since the 
fame of recent southern literature rests principally upon our 
fiction. The term "novelists" in the group title is not equally 
applicable, however, to all the fiction writers included in the 
several studies. Though Katherine Anne Porter and Eudora 
Welty have not concentrated exclusively upon the short 
story, they have achieved their place largely through their 
work in this form; and it is the short stories of Miss Porter 
and Miss Welty which we find treated in Ray West's "Kath- 
erine Anne Porter and 'Historic Memory' and Robert 
Daniel's "The World of Eudora Welty." 

The studies in Southern Renascence vary in manner, in 
comprehensiveness, in approach, and in value as criticism. 

Book Reviews 273 

In a brief review one can simply mention a few of the essays 
and then urge the reader to secure the volume himself. 
Robert D. Jacobs, in "Poe and the Agrarian Critics," defends 
Poe against the aspersions of some of the New Critics, and 
shows how they owe more to him, their "worthy ancestor," 
than they have realized or cared to admit. William Van 
O'Connor's "Protestantism in Yoknapatawpha County" con- 
tains an interesting analysis of the part which the Protestant 
tradition in the South has played in the work of Faulkner, 
with a special emphasis upon the Calvinist spirit as "the 
central issue of Light in August." Isabel Gamble's "Cere- 
monies of Bravery: John Crowe Ransom" examines the 
themes and emphases in Ransom's poetry, and draws many 
parallels and contrasts with authors as unlike as Foster, 
Hopkins, Browne, and Yeats. 

The editors of Southern Renascence have supplied a useful 
appendix of biographical sketches of the twenty-six authors 
represented, and an index. 

H. G. Kincheloe. 

North Carolina State College, 


Chronicler of the Cavaliers. By Curtis Carroll Davis. (Rich- 
mond, Va. : The Dietz Press. Inc. 1953. Pp. xxii, 570. $5.00.) 

At long last, and justly so, what is and what will remain 
the definitive biography of William Alexander Caruthers 
(1802-1846), early Virginia novelist, has been compiled. The 
scholarship is meticulous, and the research exhaustive. Dr. 
Davis begins the story with some background genealogy, 
introduces his main character during his early days at Wash- 
ington [and Lee] College, transports him to medical school 
in Philadelphia, returns him to Lexington until 1829, when 
he left for New York to live there until 1835. Here his first 
novel appeared, The Kentuckian in New-York, to which a 
detailed chapter is devoted. A second novel followed in the 
next year ( 1835), The Cavaliers of Virginia, which is accord- 
ed another careful chapter. Caruthers then returned briefly to 
Lexington and then went to reside permanently in Savannah, 
Georgia, where his third ( and, according to Davis, his best ) 

274 The North Carolina Historical Review 

novel appeared (1841), The Knights of the Golden Horse- 
Shoe, which is given very careful treatment in another fine 
chapter. Thereafter follows Caruthers' life in that city until 
consumption destroyed him in the mountains of Marietta, 
Georgia, where he had gone for his health. A final chapter 
analyzes Caruthers' artistic theory, his literary virtues and 
blemishes, his literary allusions, the bases of his appeal, and 
his latter-day reputation. 

Included in appendices are Caruthers' obituary notices, 
digests of his three novels, and a discussion both of his 
brothers and sisters and of his sons and daughters. In addition 
to more than 100 pages of notes, there is a bibliography ( in- 
cluding "Works by Caruthers" ) , and a very fine index. 

My only criticism is probably not a just one: the author 
makes much of Caruthers' literary exploits but gives us too 
little of the personal and intimate relations of his daily life, 
of the man himself and his character. I assume, however, that 
such records are not extant ( though what about his personal 
letters?), for such a careful workman as Dr. Davis would 
never have omitted such important material as this had it 
been available. 

The book is not only thorough and scholarly in all respects, 
but the story it has to tell is an interesting one throughout 
and at times a fascinating one. Dr. Davis is to be highly com- 
mended on this salutary result of his long and painstaking 


James Atkins Shackford. 
North Carolina State College, 

Richard Oswald's Memorandum on the Folly of Invading Vir- 
ginia, the strategic Importance of Portsmouth, and the Need 
for Civilian Control of the Military.— Written in 1781 by the 
British negotiator of the first American Treaty of Peace. 
Edited by W. Stitt Robinson, Jr. (Charlottesville: University 
of Virgina Press for the Tracy W. McGregor Library, 1953. 
Pp. 61. $5.00.) 

Richard Oswald, who is best known to students of Ameri- 
can history as the leading British negotiator of the Treaty of 
Paris (1782-1783), had a varied career as merchant, slave 

Book Reviews 275 

trader, and adviser to the British ministry on the conduct of 
the "American War." Oswald, the son of a Scotch clergyman, 
owned large estates in the West Indies and in the Floridas. 
His mercantile firm carried on an extensive trade with the 
colonies for more than thirty years. As a young man he lived 
for six years in the Norfolk, Virginia, area, and he "had in 
person visited every part" of that colony and "had bought 
upon the spott Assortments of Cargos of every Article of . . . 

Henry Laurens handled most of the slave cargoes Oswald 
shipped into Charleston, and Oswald and Laurens carried 
on a correspondence of more than twenty years. When 
Laurens, one of the five American peace commissioners, was 
captured by the British and imprisoned in the Tower of 
London in October, 1780, Oswald visited him several times 
and finally posted £2000 for his release. 

Because of his intimate knowledge of American geography 
and trade, Oswald was frequently consulted by Lord North 
and other British Officials about the conduct of the war. It 
was not surprising that Lord Shelburne, Secretary of State 
for the Home Department, selected Oswald to begin informal 
peace negotiations with the American peace commissioners. 

From 1775 to 1782 Oswald made many proposals to the 
British Ministry relative to military and naval operations. The 
central theme in all of his "plans" was to divide and conquer, 
to break up "the American Confederacy by detaching one of 
the Southern Provinces." He thought the war could be won 
in the South, and he had little use for the "mob of Northern 
Yeomen," "despicable Rabble of Rioters," and that "Con- 
federacy of Smugglers" in New England. Had his Memoran- 
dum of August 15, 1781, been accepted early enough, York- 
town would have been prevented. 

Professor Robinson of the University of Kansas has done a 
magnificent job of editing these documents: Oswald's Letter 
of Transmittal, the Memorandum, and the Conversation with 
Laurens (August 14, 1781). His superb essay on "Richard 
Oswald; Adviser to the British Ministry on the Conduct of 
the American Revolution," throws much light on hitherto 
neglected phases of Oswald's long and significant career. A 

276 The North Carolina Historical Review 

scholarly bibliographical essay, an editorial note explaining 
Oswald's "rough Sketch" of the Chesapeake Bay area (re- 
produced on p. 22), and an index round out this splendid 
little volume. 

Hugh T. Lefler. 

The University of North Carolina, 

Chapel Hill. 

Thomas Rodney : Revolutionary & Builder of the West. By Wil- 
liam Baskerville Hamilton. (Durham: Duke University 
Press. 1953. Pp. x, 96. $2.00.) 

The record of Thomas Rodney's career does not place 
him among America's "greats" or "near-greats." Yet his story 
serves a useful purpose. Readers of Professor Hamilton's 
little biography will find a carefully delineated account of a 
man whose political fortunes may be representative of many 
lesser figures during the Revolutionary and Early National 

During the first part of Thomas Rodney's public life, he 
was a fiery patriot who, with his cooler-headed and more 
prominent brother Caesar, helped lead Delaware into the 
Revolution and statehood. By 1778 Thomas was holding 
important judicial posts in his state; and in 1781 he was elect- 
ed to Congress. But much of his position was derived from 
his brother, who emerged from the Revolution as governor 
of Delaware. When Caesar Rodney died in 1784, a new era 
began for Thomas. Family and financial difficulties beset 
him sorely; politically, his light flickered and in the 1790's it 
shown but dimly from local civic and church work. Yet this 
down-but-not-out Rodney was to rebound into importance. 
Republican victories in Delaware and the election of his 
son (Caesar A.) to Congress opened up new patronage for 
Rodney: a judgeship and land-commissionership in the Mis- 
sissippi Territory. From 1803 until his death in 1811 Thomas 
Rodney served his country on the frontier with surprising 
competency, leaving minute personal and court records as a 
legacy of unquestioned value. 

This work originally appeared as a biographical introduc- 
tion to Hamilton's Anglo-American Law on the Frontier: 

Book Reviews 277 

Thomas Rodney and his Territorial Cases (Durham, 1953), 
which marked the first appearance in print of legal records 
for the Mississippi Territory during years as early as those 
of Rodney's tenure. The biography has been assembled with 
meticulous documentation, mainly from Rodney's records. 
The writing is smooth despite the obvious complexity of the 
subject's life. The author demonstrates an amusing tongue- 
in-cheek in recounting the "visions" and "whoppers" re- 
counted in Rodney's papers when the decaying old office- 
holder of the 1790's sought to show his as a vital role in the 
Revolution. Indeed, perusal of some of the choicest quota- 
tions leaves the reader marveling at Mr. Hamilton's restraint. 

The account of Judge Rodney's accomplishments in bring- 
ing a greater degree of law and order to the Old Southwest 
is a proper climax to the book. Despite Professor Hamilton's 
regrettable tendency to use legal terminology unfamiliar to 
the layman, the biography is a distinct contribution. 

Henry T. Malone. 

Atlanta Division, 

University of Georgia. 

Guide to the Manuscript Collections in the William L. Clements 
Library. Compiled by William S. Ewing. Second Edition. 
(Ann Arbor : Clements Library. 1953. Pp. ix, 548. Photolitho- 
printed. $4.00.) 

The first edition of this Guide, published by the Univer- 
sity of Michigan Press in 1942, holds its rank as one of the 
most scholarly and detailed reference works of its kind, and 
as an example of fine bookmaking it is not likely to be equal- 
ed by similar guides in these days of fabulous printing and 
publishing costs. If the second edition by contrast provokes 
something of a shock in its photo-offset dress, the reader may 
be assured nevertheless that its content reveals the steady 
growth of the Clements Library as a distinguished institution 
for historical research. During the past decade about 120 
accessions have been added, varying from single items to 
collections of many hundreds or thousands of manuscripts. 
Descriptions of collections acquired before 1942 have been 
abridged, with references to the fuller entries in the first edi- 

278 The North Carolina Historical Review 

tion. The form of entry has been revised according to the 
rules for cataloguing collections of manuscripts prepared by 
the Library of Congress in planning its project for the Na- 
tional Register of Historical Manuscript Collections, which is 
to become a union catalogue of printed cards embracing 
eventually all manuscript holdings. 

It is well known that William L. Clements' interest in ma- 
terials on the period of the American Revolution, especially 
representing the British point of view, put the Clements 
Library foremost in this field. Subsequent manuscript ac- 
quisitions after his death in 1934 further enriched the library's 
resources of both American and British origin on this broad 
subject, covering the second half of the eighteenth century 
and extending into the early nineteenth century. The papers 
of Gage, Clinton, Wilkes, Simcoe, and Greene are closely 
associated in historians' minds with this library. One must 
not overlook, however, the interest of the founder and of the 
first director, Randolph G. Adams, in material on the early 
history of Michigan, the anti-slavery crusade, the activities 
of nineteenth-century collectors who were precursors of Mr. 
Clements, and other significant subjects in American history 
on which newly available manuscript collections would pro- 
vide valuable information. Whatever may have been the more 
recent determining factors, it is interesting to point out that 
none of the largest acquisitions since 1942 pertain to the 
Revolutionary period, e.g. the papers of Lewis Cass of Michi- 
gan; the manuscripts collected by Clinton H. Haskell and by 
Jesse S. Reeves; the papers of Frank J. Hecker especially rich 
on the Spanish-American War; the correspondence of the 
historian Claude H. Van Tyne; and the family papers of Wil- 
liam Wilson of Clermont, N. Y., manager of the Livingston 

Among the smaller collections, a few are concerned with 
the American Revolution and its background: the answer of 
Sir Francis Bernard, Governor of Massachusetts Bay, to 
queries about the colony, ca. 1770; three orderly books of 
British army units in America; the journal of a Hessian 
soldier; letters of Charles Townshend, 1763-1766; and the 
papers of John Calef consisting of letters and documents 

Book Reviews 279 

concerning claims of loyalists. Other recent acquisitions cover 
a wide range of subject matter and geographical area, e.g. 
documents on Anglo-French rivalry in the Mississippi Valley; 
the Journal of Thomas Duggan, storekeeper of Fort Michil- 
imacinac, 1796-1800; a small group of papers of the American 
Fur Company, 1808-1830. There are others from more dis- 
tant regions— documents of the colonial and early national 
period of Mexico and the papers of President Porfirio Diaz 
during the second half of the nineteenth century; journals, 
maps, and pictures of H. Mann, a naturalist who explored the 
Hawaiian Islands in 1864; and three documents on Japanese- 
American relations in 1852, 1853, and 1861. Various aspects 
of life in the United States during the nineteenth century are 
portrayed in the letters of Henry C. Carey, Owen Love joy, 
and Theodore Roosevelt, among others, and in the clerical 
correspondence of Protestant Episcopal bishops of the Ameri- 
can Church, 1785-1904. 

As in the first edition of the Guide, the names of the writers 
of letters are listed after the description of each collection. 
The index of personal names supplies dates of birth and 
death when known, but it is to be regretted that no subject 
indexing has been provided. Scholars are fortunate to have 
the Guide to the manuscript resources of this great library 
brought up to date so soon. 

Lester J. Cappon. 

Institute of Early American History and Culture, 
Williamsburg, Va. 

The Traitor and the Spy. By James Thomas Flexner. (New 
York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1953. Pp. 431. $5.75.) 

The retelling of as familiar a story as that of the treachery 
of Benedict Arnold is justified only if the author presents 
new material or a definite reevaluation of the facts already 
known. Mr. Flexner scores on at least one of the two counts. 
He has located and used effectively new material on John 
Andre from British and Australian branches of the family. 
The "spy" emerges from the shadow of legend as a man 
of force and ambition rather than the foppish and artistic 

280 The North Carolina Historical Review 

sycophant often dismissed as a pawn in the deadly game 
of changing sides. 

This new version of Andre is perhaps the most important 
contribution of Mr. Flexner. He does an excellent job of 
giving the details of the early lives of Arnold and Andre in 
parallel chapters which enable the reader to contrast the 
self-made Colonial warrior with the young professional 
British officer. The writing throughout the book is bright and 
effective; especially noteworthy is the description of Arnold's 
march to Canada and the retreat. In many ways Mr. Flexner 
inserts phrases which make the whole confusion of the war 
intensely real, and the conflicts within Arnold himself under- 

So much does the figure of Arnold dominate the book that 
the author defeats his avowed purpose to implicate Peggy 
Shippen as the real key to the treachery. Undoubtedly she 
had known Andre before she became the second Mrs. Arnold, 
but there seems little basis for the definite statement on page 
254 that she was the first to suggest treason to Benedict. 
Throughout the story this lady remains, in spite of the 
author's skill with his other characters, singularly unbeliev- 
able to this reviewer at least. 

This well-written book will be of considerable interest to 
the general reader. For the scholar, however, its usefulness is 
hampered by the fact that the source references must be 
obtained from the publisher as a separate pamphlet. 

Davis Applewhite. 

University of Redlands, 

Redlands, California. 

Federal Aid to Veterans, 1917-1941. By William Pyrle Dilling- 
ham. (Gainesville: University of Florida Press. 1952. Pp. xvi, 
258. $4.50.) 

Professor Dillingham's volume is a detailed and clear 
account of the assistance that the federal government gave to 
veterans from World War I to Pearl Harbor, as well as of the 
political and administrative problems arising in connection 
with this aid. The author discusses allotments, insurance, 
compensation for the disabled, and medical and hospital 

Book Reviews 281 

care. He then considers death benefits, vocational rehabilita- 
tion, the veteran's bonus fight, the fight for retirement pay 
for disabled emergency officers, veteran's preference in the 
civil service, the problem of guardianship for incompetent 
veterans and minors, and the pensions paid to veterans of 
prior wars. He concludes with a summary of the cost of vet- 
eran's grants as compared with other governmental costs, 
and a trenchant survey of trends recorded in his study. 

The book is actually a case study in American government, 
showing how legislation is evolved, particularly emphasizing 
the role of pressure groups and the administrators themselves 
in formulating the laws. On almost every page the enormous 
influence of the American Legion as the most vocal and 
powerful of the veteran's organizations is described. The 
Legion, although continuously advocating the American way 
of life, demands special preference from the government not 
only for disabled veterans, but for other veterans as well. 
While attacking the concept of a welfare state, it would 
create a welfare state for a particular class of citizens— the 
veterans— on the ground that the government and the people 
owe the veterans a great debt because they risked their 
lives for their country. 

The well-told story is one mainly of increasingly generous 

grants to all classes of veterans under the persistent prodding 

of the American Legion. The value and comprehensiveness 

of Professor Dillingham's study is indicated by the fact that 

the Graduate School of Duke University gave it the annual 

award for 1951, and it can justly be described as a worthy 

sequel to Professor Glasson's standard work, Federal Military 

Pensions in the United States. 

Edward G. Lewis. 

University of Illinois, 

Urbana, 111. 

Decision for War, 1917 : The Laconia Sinking and the Zimmer- 
mann Telegram as Key Factors in the Public Reaction against 
Germany. By Samuel R. Spencer, Jr. (West Rindge, N. H.: 
Richard R. Smith Publishers, Inc. 1953. Pp. 110. $2.50.) 

One of the most significant acts of the United States 
Government in the Twentieth Century was the decision to 

282 The North Carolina Historical Review 

enter the First World War against Germany. By making the 
United States a belligerent, that decision influenced the out- 
come of the war and thus the course of subsequent history. 
Professor Spencer of Davidson College has written a brief 
analysis of the events which led up to that fateful decision. 
His purpose has been to revise the revisionists who have 
criticized America's entry into the war, and the method he 
uses is to seek an actual "overt act" on the part of Germany 
which made war "necessary." The thesis of the book is that, 
in the eyes of American public opinion, Germany attacked 
the United States by sinking the Cunard liner Laconia, 
an action which was closely followed by publication of the 
Zimmermann Telegraph proposing a German alliance with 
Mexico and Japan against the United States. 

As the author attempted to measure the shift in public 
opinion which those two events caused, his case was difficult 
to prove. Public opinion, as the pollsters will substantiate, is 
a nebulous matter at best. Newspapers— and in particular 
cartoons, with which the author has illustrated his work— are 
a questionable reflection of reader opinion. Moreover, the 
source material is limited. For the most part the author's 
choice of evidence concerning public opinion is that pro- 
vided by the editors of Literary Digest, whose later experi- 
ence in assaying American thought was disastrous. Further, 
quotations from non-interventionist journals whose editors 
changed their minds prove only that the editors shifted. In 
short, the assertion that American public opinion shifted in 
February-March, 1917 is unproven. 

But in addition to the basic problem of charting public 
opinion, Mr. Spencer's work is further affected by his con- 
trolling assumptions. He believes that the Kaiser's ambition 
was back of the war; that the United States was attacked 
by Germany, though the Laconia was a British ship; and 
that there is such a palpable entity as the "public mind." 
Perhaps his most fundamental assumption is that there must 
have been some "overt act" to precipitate Americans into 
war. From that frame of reference he has produced a study 
in propaganda, a portrait of a weak president under pressure. 
Where Spencer writes history he writes effectively, but where 

Book Reviews 283 

he preaches and prognosticates he becomes a rationalizer 
and an apologist for war. 

David L. Smiley. 

Wake Forest College, 

Wake Forest, N. C. 

The Growth of Southern Nationalism, 1848-1861. By Avery O. 
Craven. (Baton Rouge : The Louisiana State University Press 
and the Littlefield Fund for Southern History of the Univer- 
sity of Texas. 1953. Pp. xi, 433. $6.50.) 

Mr. Craven's study of this critical period in the United 
States is the sixth volume in the projected ten-volume History 
of the South. It might almost be subtitled "Southern action 
and reactions," for it details the interworking of the political 
movements on a state and sectional basis with an increasingly 
hostile northern bloc of states. The cohesive force of indus- 
trialism was countered by the increased devotion to the 
agrarian way of life. By the middle of the century, most of 
the real and imagined rights and wrongs of each section had 
clustered around the institution of chattel slavery. This 
became the core, according to the author, of the many vital 
differences, and it was the watchword on both sides as the 
nation divided. 

The author relates the mounting crises of this period with 
skill and a real detachment. This latter is not easy for a 
historian discussing so controversial a section of the national 
picture. Mr. Craven does not hesitate to characterize certain 
of the leading figures with pungent phrases, nor, when neces- 
sary, to note an opposing point of view to leading American 
historians on the interpretation of some political leaders. The 
whole tone of the book, however, is even and seemingly un- 

A good deal of this tone is the result of the author's habit 
of quoting from a wide variety of local newspapers to dis- 
cover the real point of view of the people as various crises 
were met. He gives the general stereotype of "Southern Re- 
action" as it was imagined in the North and then follows 
with a variety of quotations indicating quite a different re- 
action. Unfortunately the true picture was not understood in 

284 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the North, whether from intent or ignorance, and the South 
was blamed for holding ideas which it did not hold generally. 
In discussing the repeal of the Missouri Compromise during 
the Kansas-Nebraska trouble, Mr. Craven points out that the 
South was definitely worried about the accusations she would 
suffer for "breaking a sacred compact," when actually many 
thoughtful men in the South were opposed to the action. "So 
insistent was, and still is, the assumption, that the South 
actually paid the price of it as if it had been a fact in the 
developments of that day and in the history of the present," 
the author concludes. 

The constant reference to various newspaper quotations, 
as valuable as it is in gaining a well rounded picture of the 
temper of the times, does rather interrupt the author's highly 
readable style. The only other criticism of this solid and well 
written book is perhaps not the fault of the author, but he 
does leave the impression that the history of the South dur- 
ing this period was almost entirely political and economic. 
Surely there should be a little more depth to the picture of 
the South even during this period. 

Davis Applewhite. 
University of Redlands, 
Redlands, California. 


Charles S. Sydnor, dean of the Duke University Graduate 
School and chairman of the History Department, died in 
Biloxi, Mississippi, on March 2, while on a lecture tour of 
Mississippi and Louisiana colleges. He had recently been 
appointed to one of the new James B. Duke professorships. 

E. Malcolm Carroll has been appointed to a James B. 
Duke professorship. 

At the December meeting of the American Historical As- 
sociation, held in Chicago, Joel Colton read a paper entitled 
"Leon Blum and the Crisis in Contemporary French Social- 
ism"; and E. Malcolm Carroll led a discussion session on the 
Second German Empire. 

Recent publications by members of the department in- 
clude: John S. Curtiss, The Russian Church and the Soviet 
State, 1917-1950; I. B. Holley, Jr., Ideas and Weapons: Ex- 
ploitation of the Air Weapon by the United States during 
World War I— A Study in the Relationship of Technological 
Advance, Military Doctrine and Development of Weapons; 
William B. Hamilton, Anglo-American Law on the Frontier: 
Thomas Rodney and His Territorial Cases, and a separate 
printing of a portion of the introduction to the book; Hamil- 
ton, Thomas Rodney, Revolutionary and Builder of the West; 
William H. Cartwright and Hamilton, The Duke University 
Centennial Conference on Teacher Training, published as 
Historical Papers of the Trinity College Historical Society, 
Series XXX; William T. Laprade, "Twenty-Five Years of 
Duke University," Alumni Register (January, 1954); and 
Laprade, "State Parties and National Politics," The American 
Scholar (winter, 1953). 

The Woman's College of The University of North Carolina 
announces promotions in the department of history of Jose- 
phine Hege to associate professor, and of John H. Beeler to 
assistant professor. Lenore Wright of Columbia University 

[285 ] 

286 The North Carolina Historical Review 

is a visiting lecturer in the department this year. Franklin D. 
Parker has published "J ose Cecilio del Valle and the Estab- 
lishment of the Central American Confederation," Publica- 
ciones de la Universidad de Honduras, XVI (Tegucigalpa: 
Talleres Tipograficos Nacionales, 1954). 

Visiting lecturers during the 1954 summer school terms at 
Appalachian State Teachers College will be Thomas B. Alex- 
ander, head of the Department of Social Studies of Georgia 
Teachers College, and Harley E. Jolley, head of the history 
department of Mars Hill College. 

Sarah McCulloh Lemmon, member of the Meredith Col- 
lege history department, was elected president of the Social 
Studies Conference of the North Carolina Baptist colleges, 
meeting at Gardner-Webb College, February 20. 

Alice B. Keith has been promoted to professor of history. 

Horace H. Cunningham, chairman of the Department of 
Social Sciences at Elon College, was the principal speaker at 
the meeting on February 26 of the Wake County Chapter 
of the Elon College Alumni Association. 

Frontis W. Johnston of Davidson College addressed the 
Robeson County Historical Society at its mid-winter meeting 
in Lumberton, January 22. 

The Western North Carolina Historical Association met in 
Montreat on January 30. The program for the session con- 
sisted of an executive committee meeting, a luncheon, a wel- 
coming address by J. Rupert McGregor, president of the 
Montreat Assembly, a talk by T. H. Spence, Jr., on the His- 
torical Foundation of Montreat, a talk by Mrs. Elizabeth 
Stone and Andre Michaux in western North Carolina, and a 
short history of the first railroad approaching Buncombe 
County from the south, by Mrs. Sadie S. Patton. 

The North Carolina Historic Sites Commission, authorized 
by the 1953 General Assembly and appointed by Governor 
Umstead, held its organizational meeting in Raleigh on Sep- 

Historical News 287 

tember 25. J. A. Stenhouse of Charlotte was elected chairman 
and Christopher Crittenden of Raleigh, is secretary ex officio. 
Other members of the Commission are Mrs. Ernest Ives of 
Southern Pines, Hugh T. Lefler of Chapel Hill, William T. 
Polk of Greensboro, and Paul A. Reid of Cullowhee. 

At Kill Devil Hill and Kitty Hawk a four-day celebration, 
reaching its climax on December 17, was held in commemo- 
ration of the fiftieth anniversary of powered flight. The state's 
part in the program was planned and conducted by a com- 
mission, appointed by Governor Umstead. Carl Goerch of 
Raleigh is chairman of the commission and Christopher Crit- 
tenden, secretary-treasurer. 

On December 17, announcement was made that the Avalon 
and Old Dominion Foundations had donated $82,000 and the 
North Carolina Council of State $25,000 for the purchase of 
additional land adjacent to the Wright Memorial. 

The Department of Archives and History, in cooperation 
with other agencies and organizations, has initiated several 
conferences and has taken other steps within recent months, 
looking toward launching the Junior Historian Movement, 
which was authorized by the 1953 General Assembly. 

On October 31 in Asheville, Christopher Crittenden ad- 
dressed a joint session of the Western North Carolina Histor- 
ical Association and the Western North Carolina Press Asso- 
ciation on "Newspapers and History—Opportunity and Re- 
sponsibility." He spoke to the Rocky Mount Kiwanis Club 
on November 19 on the topic, "Let's Preserve Historic 
Halifax." On January 21 he addressed a Lee-Jackson gather- 
ing of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in Charlotte 
on the subject, "North Carolina's Contribution to the South- 
ern Confederacy." 

On February 22, under the auspices of the Caswell-Nash 
Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, D. L. 
Corbitt spoke over Radio Station WPTF, Raleigh, on the life 
of George Washington. 

288 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Mrs. Joye E. Jordan, on February 16-18, visited Winterthur, 
the Dupont museum in Wilmington, Delaware, where she 
studied the collections and also museum techniques and pro- 

The State Department of Archives and History announces 
the publication of the following two pamphlets and book: 
The First Half Century. The North Carolina Department of 
Archives and History— A Record of Achievement 1903-1953 
(free); Ann Beal, Hall of History Railroad (free); and Wil- 
liam S. Powell, The Carolina Charter of 1663 (pp. vi, 80. 
$1.00). The publications may be obtained by application to 
the Division of Publications, State Department of Archives 
and History, Box 1881, Raleigh, N. C. 

The American Historical Association announces the 1954 
competition for the Albert J. Beveridge Award for the best 
complete original manuscript in English on American history 
(including the history of the United States, Latin America, 
and Canada, from 1492 to the present). The award consists 
of $1,000 in cash and publication of the manuscript by the 
Albert J. Beveridge Memorial Fund, plus royalties. Informa- 
tion on the competition may be secured from John Tate 
Lanning, Chairman, Committee on the Albert J. Beveridge 
Award of the American Historical Association, 501 Library, 
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. 

The United States Naval Academy announces the James 
Forrestal Fellowships in naval history. Eligible candidates 
must have an interest in naval and military history, with a 
demonstrated ability in research. Appointments are on a one- 
year renewable basis. For additional information write The 
Superintendent, U. S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. 

Radcliffe College and the Department of History at Har- 
vard University will offer an eight- week summer institute on 
archival and historical procedures beginning June 23. Open 
to both men and women college graduates, the institute will 
offer training in the handling, management, and procuring of 

Historical News 289 

manuscripts and other source materials, and will acquaint 
students with the area of archival and museum management. 
Included among the faculty members will be Christopher 
Crittenden, director of the State Department of Archives and 
History. Applications and inquiries on the summer institute 
should be sent to Mr. Earle W. Newton, Archival Procedures 
Institute, Radcliffe College, Cambridge 38, Massachusetts. 

The Institute of Early American History and Culture an- 
nounces that the entire April issue of its magazine, The Wil- 
liam and Mary Quarterly, is devoted to the field of Scottish- 
American relations in the eighteenth century. Orders for 
copies of the issue should be addressed to The William and 
Mary Quarterly, Box 1298, Williamsburg, Virginia, and 
should include $1.25 for each copy desired. 


Dr. Donald J. Rulfs is an assistant professor of English at 
North Carolina State College, Raleigh. 

Dr. Marjorie Mendenhall Applewhite of Chapel Hill has 
contributed to various historical journals. 

Dr. Charles W. Turner is an associate professor of history 
at Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia. 

Dr. J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton is director emeritus of the 
Southern Historical Collection in the library of The Univer- 
sity of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 

Dr. Henry S. Stroupe is an associate professor of history at 
Wake Forest College, Wake Forest. 

Mr. Hoke Norris is associate editor of the Winston-Salem 

Mr. Richard Walser is an associate professor of English at 
North Carolina State College, Raleigh. 

Dr. Dougald MacMillan is chairman of the Department of 
English at The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 

Dr. Frontis W. Johnston is head of the history department 
at Davidson College. 

Dr. Allan Nevins is a professor of history at Columbia Uni- 
versity, New York. 

Miss Mary Lindsay Thornton is librarian of the North 
Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina Library, 
Chapel Hill. 


JANUARY, 1954 

Sidney Weller : Ante-Bellum Promoter of 
Agricultural Reform 1 

C. O. Cathey 

The Great Migration from North Carolina in 1879 — 18 

Joseph H, Taylor 

Foreigners in North Carolina, 1900-1950 34 

Lawrence S,> Thompson 

Place Names on Ocracoke Island 41 

C. A. Weslager 

The Early Development of the Roanoke 
Waterway — A Study in Interstate Relations 50 

Philip M. Rice 

The Confederate Letters of Ruffin Barnes 
of Wilson County 75 

Hugh Buckner Johnston, Jr. 

Book Reviews 100 

Historical News Ill 

The North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Volume XXXI July, 1954 Number 3 



CAROLINA (1776-1876) 

By Fletcher M. Green 

Part I 

The day after the Continental Congress had agreed upon 
a declaration of independence, John Adams, writing to his 
beloved Abigail, predicted that "The second day of July, 
1776, will be the most memorable epocha in the history of 
America." 1 "I am apt to believe [said he] that it will be 
celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary 
festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the day of de- 
liverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It 
ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, 
games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from 
one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward, 
forevermore." But it was to be July 4— the day Congress 
adopted the Declaration drafted by Thomas Jefferson— not 
July 2 that was to be celebrated "as the great anniversary 
festival." And had Adams added dinners, orations, the drink- 
ing of toasts, the reading of the Declaration, an evening ball 
or dance, and the shooting of firecrackers to his list of the 
means by which the day was to be celebrated, his prophecy 
would have been more nearly accurate. 

Charles Warren, distinguished historian of the Supreme 
Court of the United States, writing in 1945, said: "It is a 
singular fact that the greatest event in American history— the 

1 Charles Francis Adams (ed.), The Works of John Adams, Second Presi- 
dent of the United States: With a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustra- 
tions, 10 vols. (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1850-1856), IX, 420. 


296 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Declaration of Independence— has been the subject of more 
incorrect popular belief, more bad memory on the part of 
participants, and more false history than any other occurrence 
in our national life." 2 Warren cleared up some of the miscon- 
ceptions concerning the date of the adoption and signing of 
the Declaration, the ringing of the Liberty Bell, the early 
celebration myth, and the poor memory of John Adams, 
Thomas Jefferson, and other participants in that historic 
event. 3 

It is my purpose in this essay to discuss the celebration of 
Independence Day from 1776 to 1876 in North Carolina and 
incidentally in the South. Today little attention is paid to 
July Fourth by the people of North Carolina, but during the 
first century of our national existence it was almost univer- 
sally observed. A study of the orations and toasts delivered 
at those celebrations will throw light on public opinion and 
attitudes on the major problems, state, regional, and national, 
of the day and help to clear up some of the "false history" 
referred to by Charles Warren. 

The American states received official news of the Declara- 
tion of Independence from the Continental Congress in July, 
1776, and joyously proclaimed it to the people. Some legisla- 
tures ordered the Declaration to be printed in the state 
gazettes and to be proclaimed in each county by the sheriff. 
Others held public meetings in the capital cities where the 
Declaration was read and celebrated by a dinner, a toast to 
each of the thirteen states, illuminations, and ceremony in 
which an effigy of George III was either burned or buried. 4 

In Georgia public officials, gentlemen, and the militia drank 
a toast "to the prosperity and perpetuity of the United Free 
and Independent States of America." And the President of 
the Council pronounced a funeral oration over King George 
in which he said: 

2 Charles Warren, "Fourth of July Myths," The William and Mary Quar- 
terly: A Magazine of Early American History, Institutions and Culture, 
Third Series, II (July, 1945), 237. 

3 Warren, "Fourth of July Myths," The William and Mary Quarterly, 

4 Charles D. Deshler, "How the Declaration Was Received in the Old 
Thirteen," Harper's New Monthly Magazine, LXXXV (July, 1892), 

Listen to the Eagle Scream 297 

For as much as George the Third, of Great Britain, hath most 
flagrantly violated his Coronation Oath, and trampled upon the 
Constitution of our Country, and the sacred rights of man- 
kind: We, therefore, commit his political existence to the 
ground — corruption to corruption — tyranny to the grave — and 
oppression to eternal infamy; in sure and certain hope that 
he will never obtain a resurrection to rule again over the United 
States of America. But, my friends and fellow citizens, let us 
not be sorry, as men without hope, for tyrants that thus de- 
part — rather let us remember that America is free and inde- 
pendent; and that she is, and will be, with the blessing of the 
Almighty, Great among the nations of the earth. 5 

The North Carolina Council of Safety received news of 
the Declaration on July 22, 1776, and ordered "the committees 
of the respective Towns and Counties in this Colony on re- 
ceiving the Declaration, do cause the same to be proclaimed 
in the most public manner, in Order that the good people of 
this Colony may be fully informed thereof." 6 On July 25, 
the Council adopted a resolution requiring the people to take 
a loyalty oath in which they were to declare that they "do 
absolutely believe" in independence, recognize no English 
authority, and promise to obey the Continental Congress. 

At a meeting of the citizens of the town of Halifax on 
August 1, the Declaration was officially proclaimed to the state. 
On that day, "an immense concourse of people" and soldiers 
having gathered, Cornelius Harnett "read the Declaration to 
the mute and impassioned multitude with the solemnity of 
an appeal to Heaven." When he had finished, "the enthusiasm 
of the immense crowd broke into one swell of rejoicing and 
prayer." The soldiers seized Harnett and "bore him on their 
shoulders through the streets, applauding him as their cham- 
pion, and swearing allegiance to the instrument he had read." 7 

5 Charles Colcock Jones, Jr., History of Savannah, Georgia (Syracuse: 
D. Mason and Company, 1890), 234-235. 

6 William L. Saunders (ed.), The Colonial Records of North Carolina, 
10 vols. (Raleigh: P. M. Hale and Josephus Daniels, 1886-1890), X, 

7 The description of the celebration at Halifax is taken from Jo. Seawell 
Jones, A Defence of the Revolutionary History of the State of North Car- 
olina from the Aspersions of Mr. Jefferson (Raleigh: Turner and Hughes; 
Boston: Charles Bowen, 1834), 268-269. Jones says he received the account 
of this ceremony "from a pious elderly lady, who was present on the 



298 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Celebrations of the Fourth in 1777 were few in number, 
but were widely scattered throughout the country. The day 
was observed by an unofficial celebration at Philadelphia, 
which included a dinner for members of Congress, state 
officials, and the officers of the army. A number of toasts were 
drunk to the Fourth, to liberty, and to the memory of fallen 
troops. Throughout the city bells were rung; ships in the 
harbor fired thirteen cannon each; there was a parade, fol- 
lowed by fireworks. And music was furnished by a Hessian 
band that had been captured at Trenton. 8 A similar celebra- 
tion was held in Boston. 

The most elaborate celebration held anywhere in the coun- 
try took place at Charleston, South Carolina. A newspaper 
reported it as follows: 

Friday last being the first anniversary of the glorious for- 
mation of the American empire . . . the same was commemorated 
by every demonstration of joy. Ringing of bells ushered in the 
day. At sunrise, American colors were displayed from all the 
forts and batteries, and vessels in the harbor. The Charleston 
regiment of militia, commanded by the Honorable Colonel 
Charles Pinckney, and the Charleston artillery company, com- 
manded by Captain Thomas Grimball, were assembled upon the 
parade, and reviewed by his excellency the President. ... At 
one o'clock in the several forts, beginning with Fort Moultrie, 
on Sullivan's Island, discharged seventy-six pieces of cannon, 
alluding to the glorious year 1776, and the militia and artillery 
three general volleys. His Excellency the President then gave 
a most elegant entertainment in the council chamber, at which 
were present all the members of the Legislature then in town, 
all the public officers civil and military, the clergy, and many 
strangers of note to the amount of more than double the num- 
ber that ever observed the birthday of the present misguided 
and unfortunate King of Great Britain. After dinner the fol- 
lowing toasts were drank, viz: '1. The free, and independent, 
and sovereign States of America. 2. The great council of Ameri- 
ca — may wisdom preside in all its deliberations. 3. General 
Washington. 4. The American army and navy — may they be 
victorious and invincible. 5. The nations in friendship or al- 
liance with America. 6. The American ambassadors at foreign 
courts. 7. The Fourth of July, 1776. 8. The memory of the 
officers and soldiers who have bravely fallen in defense of Ameri- 

8 Warren, "Fourth of July Myths," The William and Mary Quarterly, 

Listen to the Eagle Scream 299 

ca. 9. South Carolina. 10. May only those Americans enjoy free- 
dom who are ready to die for its defence. 11. Liberty triumphant. 
12. Confusion, shame, and disgrace to our enemies — may the 
foes to America (slaves to tyranny) humble and fall before 
her. 13. May the rising States of America reach the summit 
of human power and grandeur, and enjoy every blessing.' Each 
toast was succeeded by a salute of thirteen guns, which were 
fired by Captain GrimbalFs company from their two field-pieces, 
with admirable regularity. The day having been spent in festivi- 
ty, and the most conspicuous harmony, the evening was con- 
cluded with illuminations, etc., far exceeding any that had ever 
been exhibited before. 9 

The 1777 celebrations were unofficial gatherings, but on 
June 24, 1778, Congress gave official recognition to the day, 
and appointed a committee which arranged for a celebration, 
including a sermon. Under federal sponsorship the celebration 
became firmly established by 1783. The first celebration in 
North Carolina under federal authorization was held at New- 
bern in 1778. John Adams, who observed the festivities of 
the day, wrote Governor Richard Caswell on July 10 describ- 
ing the celebration. "On Saturday last [said he] the ever- 
memorable Fourth of July, the Rising United States of 
America entered the Third year of their Independence, in 
spite of numerous fleets and armies; in spite of tomahawks 
and scalping knife; in spite of the numerous wicked and 
diabolical engines of cruelty and revenge, played off against 
us by the magnanimous and heroic, humane and merciful 
George the Third, the father of his people, and his wicked and 
abandoned soldiery. On this day, the bright morning star of 
this western world arose in the east and warned us to emerge 
from the slavish tyranny and servile dependence on a venal 
and corrupt court, and to assume to ourselves a name among 
nations, a name terrible to tyrants, and wrote in indelible 
characters by the Almighty as a refuge from persecution. This 
day was observed here with every possible mark and demon- 
stration of joy and reverence; triple salutes were fired from 
the batteries in town, and on board the ship Cornell, and the 
privateer brig Bellona, belonging to this port, the gentlemen 

9 The Continental Journal and Weekly Advertiser (Boston: John Gill), 
No. LXII, July 31, 1777. 

300 The North Carolina Historical Review 

of the town met, where many toasts suitable to the importance 
of the day were drunk, and the evening happily concluded." 10 
Captain R. Cogdell, also an observer, added some details in 
a letter which he wrote the governor. Said he: "In celebration 
of this day great numbers of Guns have been fired, at Stanley's 
wharf, and Mr. Ellis' ship three different firings from each 
from early in the morning midday and evening, and Liquor 
given to the populace. Stanley and Ellis seem to vie with each 
other, in a contest who should do the most honor to the day, 
but Mr. Ellis had the most artillery." 11 

The recognition of American independence by England in 
the Treaty of Paris of 1783 gave additional meaning to the 
Fourth of July. The action of Congress "declaring the cessa- 
tion of arms as well by sea as land" reached North Carolina 
on April 30, 1783. "A great wave of rejoicing and gratitude 
thrilled through the Legislature," and on May 16 "it recom- 
mended a Statewide observance of the Fourth of July," and 
called upon Governor Andrew Martin to issue a proclamation 
to that effect. 12 Whereupon, Governor Martin on June 18, 
1783, issued a proclamation, declaring that in accordance 
with the legislature's resolution that he appoint "the Fourth 
of July next, being the anniversary of the Declaration of 
American Independence, as a Day of Solemn Thanksgiving 
to Almighty God," he strictly commanded "all Good Citizens 
of this State to set apart the said Day from bodily labour, 
and employ the same in devout and religious exercises. And 
I do require all Ministers of the Gospel of every Denomina- 
tion to convene their congregations at the same time, and 
deliver to them Discourses suitable to the important Occasion, 
recommending in general the Practice of Virtue & true 
Religion, as the great foundation of private Blessings as well 
as National Happiness & prosperity." 13 

w Walter Clark (ed.), The State Records of North Carolina, 16 vols. 
(Winston and Goldsboro: M. I. & J. C. Stewart and Nash Brothers, 1895- 
1907), XIII, 456. 

11 Clark, The State Records of North Carolina, XIII, 187. 

™ Clark, The State Records of North Carolina, XIX, 223, 287. 

13 The proclamation is not found in the State Records, but is printed in full 
in Adelaide L. Fries (ed.), Records of the Moravians in North Carolina, 
7 vols. (Raleigh: Edwards and Broughton, and North Carolina Department 
of Archives and History, 1922-1947), IV, 1919-1920. 

Listen to the Eagle Scream 301 

The Moravians were the only group in the state to act on 
the governor's proclamation. They assembled at Salem at ten 
o'clock on the Fourth and celebrated with wind instruments, 
a Te Deum, a sermon, and a prayer. At two o'clock there was 
a dinner after which songs were sung; later in the afternoon 
the congregation marched in a procession, and in the evening 
the houses were illuminated and bells were rung. The Betha- 
bara congregation "favored making it as impressive as our 
circumstances allow" and ordered all members do no work 
on the day. They assembled at ten o'clock, read the proclama- 
tion, and had prayers. The Friedland group "solemnly and 
happily celebrated" the day. 14 According to Adelaide L. Fries, 
late lamented member and former president of the Historical 
Society of North Carolina, this was "the first celebration of 
the Fourth of July by state Legislative enactment in the 
United States." 15 But the Moravians were the only group in 
the state to obey the governor's proclamation. In the same 
year Boston became the first municipality to order an official 
celebration. 10 Boston also claimed the distinction of having 
the first orator of the day in 1783, but this claim was disputed 
by David Ramsey, South Carolina's distinguished historian 
of the Revolution, who said he "delivered the first oration 
that was spoken in the United States, to celebrate this great 
event" in Charleston in 1778. 17 

Prior to the adoption of the Constitution the celebration 
of July Fourth had been non-partisan but, according to 
Charles Warren, that event transformed the day in the north- 
ern states into a political holiday, celebrated chiefly by the 
Federalists. The orators of the day were Federalists; Jefferson 
was seldom toasted, and his part in the drafting of the 

14 Fries, Records of the Moravians in North Carolina, IV, 1834, 1835, 
1863, 1868, 1885. 

^Adelaide L. Fries, "An Early Fourth of July Celebration," Journal of 
American History, 29 vols. (Greenfield, Ind., New York, 1907-1935), IX 
(September, 1915), 469-474. Warren, "Fourth of July Myths," The William 
and Mary Quarterly, 258, states that the legislature of Massachusetts had 
requested the governor of that state "to direct that a suitable preparation 
be made for the celebration" of July 4, 1781. 

16 Warren, "Fourth of July Myths," The William and Mary Quarterly, 

17 David Ramsey, An Oration Delivered on the Anniversary of American 
Independence, July U, 17 9 U, in Saint Michael's Church, to the Inhabitants 
of Charleston, South Carolina (London: W. Winterbotham, 1795), 1-2. 

302 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Declaration was minimized. Such was not the case in the 
South where Federalists and Republicans jointly celebrated 
the day. There are few references to celebrations in North 
Carolina from 1785 to 1790, but after the state ratified the 
Constitution the people once again began to celebrate In- 
dependence Day. The Edenton State Gazette, July 2, 1790, 
published an ode, titled "The American Union Completed/' 
which proclaimed : 

'Tis done', 'tis fmish'd! guardian Union binds, 
In voluntary bands, a nation's minds: 

• • • • 

Now the new world shall mighty scenes unfold 
Shall rise the imperial rival of the old. 

• • • • 

happy land ! ever sacred dome ! 

Where PEACE and INDEPENDENCE own their home: 
COMMERCE and TILLAGE, hail the Queen of Marts, 
Th' Asylum of the world, the residence of ARTS. 

The toast at the 1790 celebration generally emphasized the 
bonds of union. For instance, among the fourteen toasts drunk 
at Newbern was one to "the Federal Union, may it be Per- 
petual." 18 Others of similar nature were "Energy to Govern- 
ment and a Federal Head"; and "May our Sister State, Rhode 
Island, be convinced of her error without the necessity of 

As the rivalry between Federalists and Jeffersonian Repub- 
licans became more bitter the representatives of each used the 
Fourth of July celebrations as a means of publicizing their 
party's position. A Federalist toast to "The Hon. John Jay- 
may that worthy citizen in the execution of the mission com- 
mitted to his charge, secure to his fellow-citizens the invalu- 
able blessings of peace, and in every other act, excell their 
most sanguine expectations" was balanced by a Republican 
toast, "An honorable negociation or a decided and vigorous 
opposition to the measures of the British Court." The Repub- 
lican toast, "The Republic of France— may her sons persevere 
in their glorious efforts for Liberty, until they obtain com- 

18 Edenton State Gazette of North Carolina, July 16, 1790. 

Listen to the Eagle Scream 303 

plete victory and permanent peace," was matched by a 
Federalist one, "The State of North Carolina— may the vir- 
tuous union of her citizens baffle the boasted SKILL of the 
French and their emissaries." If a Federalist, with the Whis- 
key Rebellion in mind, toasted "The forces of the Union! May 
their bayonets push home the argument when remonstrance 
fails," one Republican was ready with "May the spirit of wis- 
dom dictate our laws, and impartial justice enforce them," 
and another with "May the snowy mantle of American Free- 
dom, never be stained with the black corruption of monarchi- 
cal sway." 19 

Roth Federalists and Republicans endorsed the sentiments 
expressed in many toasts. They jointly drank to "The progress 
of useful knowledge! May the arts and sciences be cultivated 
with success, and their great end be directed to the improve- 
ment of social happiness." And both cheered the toast on the 
Revolution: "The wisdom that planned, the spirit that upheld, 
and the bravery that achieved the American Revolution." 
Both fervently hoped that American citizens "May . . . justly 
prize the blessing we enjoy." Both were interested in pros- 
perity, so they drank to the various economic interests in the 
following: "The farmers and manufacturers of America"; 
"May the sails of American Commerce be filled with the 
winds of prosperity"; "The agricultural, manufacturing and 
commercial interests of the United States; may they be 
cherished with wisdom, . . . protected with valor, [and] sup- 
port and cherish each other." Both, too, were hopeful that 
liberty would endure and be expanded. Hence they drank to 
many versions of a toast to liberty. "May the tree of Liberty 
never wither, but be immovable as the Appalachians"; may 
it "take root in the center of the earth, and its branches spread 
from pole to pole"; and "may its roots be cherished in this its 
native land, until its branches extend themselves over the 
remotest corners of the earth." Both Federalists and Republi- 
cans claimed to be gentlemen, hence they were chivalrous 

19 These toasts with several variants and many others may be found in 
the Halifax North Carolina Journal, July 9, 1794, and July 9, 1798; Fayette- 
ville North Carolina Minerva and Advertiser, July 9, 1796; and the Wil- 
mington Chronicle and North Carolina Weekly Advertiser, July 17, 1795. 

304 The North Carolina Historical Review 

and considerate of the ladies. They might require the ladies 
to leave the dinner before the men began to drink, but they 
invariably toasted the fair sex. Typical of their sentiments 
are the following: "The American Fair] May the perfections 
of their minds excell the beauties of their persons"; "May they 
bestow their smiles on none but the friends of their country"; 
and, more seriously, "May they impress on the rising genera- 
tion the value of the prize their fathers fought and bled for." 20 
The victory of the Jeffersonian Democratic Republican 
party in the elections of 1800 changed somewhat the mood 
and spirit of the Fourth of July celebrations. Quite naturally 
the orations, and especially the toasts, put more emphasis 
on Jeffersonian ideas and principles and less on Federalism. 
In 1799, for the first time since the 1770's, the Declaration of 
Independence was read in North Carolina celebrations. Grad- 
ually the practice developed, and from 1805 until 1860 it 
was regularly read at all celebrations. Numerous odes were 
written on the Declaration and read on the Fourth. One by 
Alexander Lucas, editor of the Raleigh Minerva, written at 
the request of the citizens of Raleigh, was sung with much 
gusto. Describing the utopia which would follow the general 
acceptance of the principles of the Declaration, Lucas de- 

Discord no more shall roam abroad, 

The fire and sword no more destroy, 
But friendship smile o'er all mankind, 

And all their sorrows end in joy. 21 

Republicans emphasized Jefferson's authorship of the 
Declaration. In one of the many such toasts, Joseph Gales, 
editor of the Raleigh Register, toasted Jefferson "as the sage 
and patriotic author of the Declaration of Independence." 
William Boylan, a Federalist editor of the Raleigh Minerva, 
corrected Gales; he contended that John Adams and other 
members of the Committee that wrote the Declaration should 
have equal recognition with Jefferson. The controversy, com- 


Fayetteville North Carolina Minerva and Advertiser, July 9, 1799. 
The Ode is printed in full in the Raleigh Star of July 5, 1811. 

Listen to the Eagle Scream 305 

plicated by rivalry over state printing, finally ended in a fight 
between the two editors in which Gales was severely beaten. 22 

The orators, generally Republican, the leaders who offered 
the regular toasts, and most of those who gave voluntary 
toasts reflected Jefferson's views on party unity. Among the 
numerous toasts that expressed this sentiment are the follow- 
ing: "Union. Let the bickerings of party be heard no more. 
. . . We are all Americans, and belong to the great family of 
the Republic"; "Goodwill— may the fervor of political zeal 
never disturb the harmony of social intercourse"; "Parties. 
There is not talismanic virtue in names. Let us appreciate men 
for their deeds"; and "National Unanimity— may the hateful 
demon of discord be banished from our land and the name of 
American absorb all other distinctions." 23 During the Jeffer- 
sonian period North Carolinians also toasted "Freedom of 
the Press," and "Trial by Jury," and emphasized Jeffersonian 
principles and philosophy by reading the Bill of Rights as 
well as the Declaration of Independence on July Fourth. 24 

As the controversy with England over neutral rights be- 
came more and more bitter it largely absorbed the attention 
of the Fourth of July celebrants. A Raleigh meeting drew up 
a long resolution on the Leopard affair and transmitted it 
and an address to President Jefferson. One of the toasts drunk 
on that occasion was: "The memory of the seamen who fell 
a sacrifice to British outrage— May the atrocity of this act 
produce the adoption of such measures as shall secure us from 
future violence, and establish our maritime rights on a firm 
foundation." 25 But such measures were not immediately 
adopted, and the next year the Raleigh citizens toasted, 
"Neutral Rights. The surrender of an inch only countenances 
a claim for an ell; may a hair's breadth never be yielded, till 
the conqueror is led to make his sword the yard stick." But 
France, too, was violating neutral rights, so North Carolinians 

22 Raleigh Register, July 16, December 3, 10, 1804. 

23 Raleigh Register, July 17, 1812; Raleigh Minerva, July 7, 1808; Raleigh 
Star, July 26, 1810, July 17, 1812. 

24 Halifax North Carolina Journal, July 8, 1805 ; Raleigh Register, July 24, 

25 Halifax North Carolina Journal, July 8, 1805. 

306 The North Carolina Historical Review 

toasted "The French Tiger and British Shark. Paring to the 
nails of one, and a file to the teeth of the other." 26 

When war came Wilmington citizens cheered a toast to 
"The 4th of July 1776. The sword of America again drawn 
from its scabbard in the spirit of that day— May its strokes be 
directed with such energy as speedily to force the enemy to a 
just and reasonable peace." 27 Hoping that Canada would be 
won by war a Raleigh citizen cried, "Canada— May her Star 
be speedily added to our Constellation." But another de- 
clared, "Our maritime Rights . . . are the objects of the War, 
and they will not be abandoned." 28 When the tide of battle 
turned against American forces the Wilmington citizens could 
still say: "Eternal war with all its privations and concomitant 
horrors, in preference to a peace that does not recognize and 
acknowledge our every right as a sovereign and independent 
Nation." 29 Enraged by England's use of Indian troops and the 
burning of the public buildings in Washington, a Raleigh 
crowd cheered the toast, "May the war in which we are en- 
gaged be carried on with ability and vigor, tempered with 
humanity; and may our enemy become sensible that a resort 
to wanton conflagrations, and the employment of the Scalping 
Knife, disgrace a civilized nation." 30 North Carolinians were 
anxious for peace and praised President James Madison's 
"Mission to Russia: It proves to the world, that whilst we 
are fighting for our Rights, we are willing to avail ourselves 
of the first occasion of negociating an honorable peace." 31 

Patriotic though they were North Carolinians could find 
little about which to boast in the Peace of Ghent. The best 
they could do in 1815 was to recognize "Our late Ministers 
at Ghent." In 1816 they toasted "Our Navy— bold, enterpris- 
ing and successful," "The Army of the United States— they 
fought bravely," and "Peace to the World"; but it was 1817 
before they declared, in "The Last War— We plucked the 
laurels from the Crown of the conquerers of Napoleon." 

26 Raleigh Star, July 5, 1811. 

27 Raleigh Register, July 17, 1812. 

28 Raleigh Register, July 10, 1812; July 9, 1813. 

29 Raleigh Register, July 17, 1812. 

30 Raleigh Register, July 9, 1813. 

31 Raleigh Register, July 9, 1813. 

Listen to the Eagle Scream 307 

Finally, in 1820, they rocognized "General Andrew Jackson 
—the immortal Hero of New Orleans," and condemned "The 
Hartford Convention— Commenced in iniquity, carried on in 
malignity, and ended in disgrace." 32 

The form of July Fourth celebrations gradually evolved 
and by 1820 had assumed a fixed pattern that changed very 
little until the coming of the Civil War. In the early days the 
upper classes— gentlemen, government officials, the military, 
the Society of the Cincinnati, the Association of '76, and 
professional men including lawyers, doctors, and preachers 
—in a word what the press regularly called "men of Respecta- 
bility," were the chief participants with the populace merely 
lookers-on. Most celebrations were held in the larger cities 
and county seats with only an occasional one at a country 
church, a cross roads store, or a tavern in the rural areas. 

The day would begin with the ringing of bells at dawn 
followed by cannon or musketry salutes at sunrise. During 
the early morning various military organizations would pa- 
rade the streets and go through their evolutions for the 
benefit of the populace. The people would then march in 
regular procession to a church, court house, or some other 
chosen place for the exercises. A newspaper account of a 
Raleigh celebration reports "the following was the order of 
the procession: 

The Marshall of the Day on horseback and in uniform, 
Herald, Band, Infantry, Cavalry, Male students and teachers 
of Academy, Female students, Ladies, Police, Government 
Officials, The Reverend Clergy, Orators of the Day, The 
Governor, and Files of Infantry and Cavalry." 33 In most cases 
there was also a designated position in the procession for 

The public exercises consisted of prayers, an oration, the 
reading of the Declaration of Independence, the singing of 
patriotic airs, and occasionally the rendition of instrumental 
music. When these were concluded the select group of ladies 

32 Raleigh Minerva, July 7, 1815; July 12, 1816; July 11, 1817; Salisbury 
Western Carolinian, July 18, 1820; Raleigh Star, July 7, 1820. 

Raleigh Minerva, July 7, 1808; see also Raleigh Star, July 5, 1810. 

308 The North Carolina Historical Review 

and gentlemen would adjourn to a tavern, hotel, or sometimes 
a private home where they were served an "elegant and 
sumptuous dinner." After dinner the ladies would retire and 
the gentlemen would drink thirteen regular toasts, one for 
each state, and numerous voluntary ones in fine wines and 
imported liquors. One group in Georgia drank eighty-seven 
toasts. In the afternoon the ladies would entertain at an 
"elegant tea party" at which there might also be vocal and 
instrumental music and dancing. The day would be concluded 
by a "splendid ball . . . given to the Ladies" by the gentle- 

With the coming of the Jacksonian epoch there was a 
diminution of formalism and ceremony, but an increase in 
hilarity and boisterousness in the celebrations. With the 
decline of class distinctions the people participated to a much 
greater extent. In fact, all business and labor came to a stop, 
and everybody celebrated. Ladies and gentlemen were still 
present and popular leaders were in charge, but all groups 
were officially recognized. The working men and "Mechanics 
Societies" were given positions of importance. 35 In a single 
procession in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1831 "tailers, hatters, 
blacksmiths, carpenters, stone-cutters, tanners and leather 
dressers, cordwainers, coppersmiths and other workers of 
metal, printers, ropemakers, gunsmiths, and finally the Nor- 
folk Marine Society, and The School Teachers," in that order, 
had their designated position. 86 And the streets of the county 
seats "were filled to overflowing with the generous yeomanry 
of . . . the country" districts. 37 

The crowds, composed of men, women, and children, yea 
"all the little niggers in town," yelled and shrieked and 
screamed like mad. 38 These crowds, however, were assembled 
with a purpose that was serious, almost holy. They "listened 
attentively to lengthy prayers" distinguished for "fervent 

^Edenton State Gazette, July 16, 1790; Raleigh Minerva, July 7, 1808; 
Raleigh Star, July 5, 1810. 

^Raleigh Register, July 28, 1836. 

39 Washington United States Telegraph, July 8, 1831. 

37 Salisbury Carolina Watchman, July 10, 1846. 

38 Salisbury Carolina Watchman, July 15, 1837; Raleigh Register, July 13, 

Listen to the Eagle Scream 309 

piety and patriotism," and greeted the Declaration and the 
oration with enthusiastic applause. 39 Instead of a dinner for 
a select few, barbecues were prepared for everybody. At one 
barbecue "long tables groaned beneath the fat of the land, 
[and] notwithstanding a well-directed and prolonged attack 
by all there . . . the reenforcements constantly furnished . . . 
drove the armed hosts, with reluctant step, from their en- 
trenchments." 40 Of food there was enough and to spare. After 
everyone had eaten, the "call for Voluntary toasts was 
answered with promptitude and alacrity." But, instead of 
drinking to the toasts in Maderia and imported liquors as 
the early assemblies had done, these "motley crews" drank 
domestic wines and liquors, or even lemonade. 41 And instead 
of indulging in "elegant teas" and "splendid balls" they 
closed their festivities by engaging in square dances or watch- 
ing a "successful and beautiful assention of a Balloon in the 
evening." 42 Beginning with July 4, 1836, the newspapers re- 
ported a new type of excitement, the "occasional popping of 
squibs," better known today as firecrackers. 43 

The Moravians, first to celebrate officially the Fourth in 
North Carolina, became less enthusiastic in their observance 
of the day as the celebrations became more boisterous. Their 
exercises had at first consisted largely of sermons, prayers, 
and a "singstunde with instrumental accompaniment." But on 
July 16, 1811, the Salem Board "noted with regret that shoot- 
ing as a sign of rejoicing, which we had tried to prevent, 
was carried on by several of the younger Brethren" on July 4. 
The next year the Board noted with regret that a letter of 
one of the conferences warning against worldly manifesta- 
tions of joy on July 4 was disregarded by the young men who 
stuck cockades in their hats. In 1814 the secretary recorded in 
the minutes: "Disapproval is expressed concerning the be- 
havior of the younger people on the fourth of this month, who 
made a noise by shooting in the Square and out of the 

39 Salisbury Carolina Watchman, July 15, 1837. 

40 Salisbury Carolina Watchman, July 10, 1846. 
^Hillsboro Recorder, July 8, 1841. 

42 Salisbury Carolina Watchman, July 15, 1837; Raleigh Star, July 7, 1836. 

43 Tarboro Free Press, July 9, 1836. 

310 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Brothers House. In addition they have repeatedly occupied 
themselves with marching, soldier fashion, with drum and fife, 
near the town in the evening.'' This action, said the Board, 
"must be considered disorder and must be suppressed." The 
Board ordered parents to warn their children, masters their 
apprentices, and Choir officers the "Single Brethren." Evi- 
dently the warning bore fruit for in 1815 the Fourth was 
"observed in a solemn manner"; in 1817 "the anniversary 
. . . was more still and quiet in our town than it has been in 
many years"; in 1818 there was "little celebration"; and in 
1819 and 1820 the celebration consisted of only "a singstunde 
with instrumental music" and a sermon by the distinguished 
Lewis David von Schweinitz. 44 One concession, however, had 
been made to the youth. Beginning in 1815, and continued 
thereafter, the sermon for the Fourth was delivered in English 
rather than German. 

Two new movements, the Sunday school and the temper- 
ance crusade, attempted to captialize on the popularity of the 
Fourth during the Middle Period. The Guilford County Sun- 
day School Union, an auxilliary of the American Sunday 
School Union, had charge of the exercises in Greensboro in 
1834. 45 And in Raleigh in 1851 over four hundred Sunday 
school children from the Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, 
and other Missionary churches gathered in the Presbyterian 
Church. They listened to the reading of the Declaration, 
heard an oration, sang songs, and in the evening attended a 
session devoted to speech making. 46 

The temperance movement was better organized and had 
a more definite program than the Sunday schools; hence it 
exerted greater influence on the Fourth. The Washington 
Temperance Society of Mecklenburg County was joined by 
a large body of the citizens of Charlotte in its celebration in 
1842. They listened to the reading of the Declaration of In- 
dependence, heard two prayers, and drank more than fifty 
toasts, twenty-five to temperance, all "in pure cold water." 

u Fries, Records of the Moravians in North Carolina, VII, 3150, 3180, 
3237, 3259, 3368, 3402, 3439. 

45 Raleigh Register, July 15, 1834. 

46 Raleigh Star, July 9, 1851. 

Listen to the Eagle Scream 311 

The male members carried a banner, made of white silk by 
the women members, inscribed: "To guard against a practice 
which is injurious to our health, standing and families, we as 
gentlemen pledge ourselves not to drink any spirituous or 
malt liquors, wine or cider." They sang "Cold Water," one 
stanza of which reads: 

Here's to the Cup of Cold Water — 
The pure, sweet cup of cold water; 
For nature gives to all that lives 
But a drink of the clear cold water. 47 

Every toast offered at the Wilmington celebration of 1847, 
conducted by the Wilmington Temperance Society, made 
reference to temperance. A typical one reads: "The day we 
celebrate— may its next advent find every member not present, 
faithful to his 'pledge,' and our number doubled." 48 That 
same year the "Concord Division No. 1 of Sons of Temper- 
ance" joined in a local celebration. A newspaper correspon- 
dent reported that, despite the fact that only cold water and 
ice lemonade were used in drinking toasts, "The racy pun, the 
sparkling jest, and witty repartee circulated most merrily." 49 
And at each celebration in Raleigh from 1845 through 1851 
Sons of Temperance, Raleigh Teetotalers, and other temper- 
ance groups joined Sunday school children, numbering from 
three hundred to four hundred, and the citizens of the town 
in the Fourth of July exercises. 

Even the official July Fourth celebrations in Washington 
experienced the leveling influence of the rise of the common 
man during the Middle Period. In addition to "the vapid ora- 
tions, stupid toasts and execrable speeches; hot meats and 
cold wines; the customary laudation of the nation, and the 
quantum of headaches that follow the usual indulgence," a 
visitor in Washington reported the new "squibs and popguns"; 
the "commingling of all the central functionaries with citizens 
of every class" in the White House; and a band of "Sunday 

" Charlotte Catawba Journal, July 14, 1842. 
48 Wilmington Journal, July 16, 1847. 
48 Raleigh Standard, July 14, 1847. 

312 The North Carolina Historical Review 

school children marched through the walks of the capitol 
grounds." 50 

What might be considered a typical Fourth of the ante- 
bellum period took place at Charleston, South Carolina, in 
1843. The citizens of the town were awakened at dawn by the 
bells of St. Michael's in whose pews on Sundays sat the aris- 
tocracy of the Cotton Kingdom. But on this holiday the bells 
of St. Michael's called to worship all classes of citizens. As 
the clangor of the bells died away cannon on the battery 
boomed a salute across the sleepy harbor. Gradually the side- 
walks filled with people, men, women and children, black and 
white. The Charleston Light Dragoons paraded down the 
avenue to the water front; the Sixteenth and Seventeenth regi- 
ments of infantry and a battalion of artillery followed. Near 
the reviewing stand, occupied by the officials, were assembled 
men in tall hats and women in hoop skirts. When the troops 
were drawn up at attention the United States cutter Van 
Bur en, riding at anchor in the harbor, fired a salute; the 
artillery battery replied; and the infantry raised its muskets 
and fired a round to complete this part of the ritual. 

The crowd then dispersed, but after a short interim new 
processions were formed. The Society of the Cincinnati and 
the Association of '76, their members few in number and now 
feeble old men, moved slowly to the First Baptist Church 
where they heard prayers and an oration by a member of the 
76. Meanwhile the Washington Society had marched to St. 
Mary's where it heard prayers, an oration, and the Declara- 
tion of Independence. A third procession made up of temper- 
ance societies marched through the streets to the New Theatre 
where, after prayers and an anthem, Albert Rhett addressed 
"a numerous, brilliant and gratified audience of both sexes." 
After "a brief allusion to the grateful and hallowed occasion," 
Rhett took "the boldest and highest ground in favor of total 

In the afternoon thirteen hundred Sunday school children, 
preceded by ministers, teachers, and a "band of music," 

60 Elizabeth Fries Ellet, Court Circles of the Republic, or The Beauties 
and Celebrities of the Nation (Philadelphia: Philadelphia Publishing Com- 
pany, 1872), 308. 

Listen to the Eagle Scream 313 

marched to the Presbyterian Church. There the exercises 
consisted of a prayer, a religious parody on the Declaration 
of Independence, an original poem, and an oration on the 
blessings of liberty and the higher blessings of Sunday 
schools, all delivered by boys. Appropriate anthems were 
sung by a girls' choir. The exercises were followed by a picnic 
of box lunches and games. The day was concluded by fire 
works at Tivoli Garden during the evening. 51 A North Caro- 
lina celebration similar to this one would have included also 
a dinner or barbecue, regular and voluntary toasts, and prob- 
ably a dance in the evening. 

The orator and his oration played a significant role in the 
celebrations. The orator was selected by a committee in 
charge of arrangements, and throughout the country some of 
the most distinguished statesmen, preachers, lawyers, and 
editors were pressed into service. But in North Carolina the 
orators, while selected from the above named professions, 
were relatively unknown. Joseph Gales, Jesse R. Bynum, Jesse 
Speight, and James Branch addressed July Fourth crowds, but 
the better known Nathaniel Macon, Archibald D. Murphey, 
William Gaston, Willie P. Mangum, William A. Graham, and 
Judge Thomas Ruffin seem not to have done so. 

The early orators had a chance at originality of thought 
and expression, and some of them delivered thought provok- 
ing as well as stirring addresses. David Ramsey, the South 
Carolina historian who in 1778 "delivered the first oration 
that was spoken in the United States, to celebrate this great 
event," was again the orator in Charleston in 1794. He not 
only traced the colonial and revolutionary history of the 
United States, as most speakers did, but he reminded his 
hearers that they, as American citizens, enjoyed "advantages, 
rights, and privileges, superior to most, if not all, of the 
human race. . . . We ( [said he] have hit upon the happy 
medium between despotism and anarchy." According to 
Ramsey, we have freedom and equality of opportunity; we 
are all equal under the law; we have free press, free speech, 

51 Charleston Courier, July 5, 1843 ; see also Ralph Henry Gabriel, The 
Course of American Democratic Thought: An Intellectual History Since 
1815 (New York: The Ronald Press, 1940), 96-97. 

314 The North Carolina Historical Review 

and no state church. Tolerance and equality leads to peace 
between factions. And, we can look forward to continuing 
peace, progress, and prosperity. "To what height of national 
greatness may we not aspire?" he asked. There was no limit, 
replied he, if the United States would educate all its people 
and maintain peace with all nations. 52 Ramsey painted an 
idyllic picture of peace, liberty, and equality, yet he passion- 
ately believed in the future growth and progress of the United 
States. His vision was that of the American dream. 

By mid-nineteenth century, however, the phraseology of 
July Fourth orations had become so hackneyed and time worn 
that one orator, the Reverend Mr. Moore of Virginia, spent 
considerable time in explaining his difficulty in preparing 
anything either fresh or acceptable to his audience. Said he: 
"The situation of a Fourth of July orator now is like that of a 
man at the third table of a public dinner, who has left to him 
little more than scraps and empty dishes. All the rhetoric and 
logic of the occasion have been used up, and there is really 
not a respectable metaphor left. The American Eagle— a very 
respectable bird in its way— has been so plucked and handled 
that it has become as tame as a barnyard fowl. The British 
Lion has been so belabored and becudgeled by an indignant 
eloquence that he roars as gently as a suckling dove. The 
Stars and Stripes have been so vehemently flourished above 
admiring crowds of patriotic citizens that there is hardly a 
rhetorical shred left of them, and even that is somewhat the 
worse for handling. Even classic antiquity— Hercules and the 
serpent, Julius Caesar, Demosthenes, Greece and Rome— have 
so long been compelled to perform annual muster that they 
have really become exempt from military service. Even patrio- 
tism is not in season, because it is not near enough the elec- 
tion. The very Union would almost be dissolved by eulogizing 
it at such a melting temperature as this. Even 'the Ladies' 
have been deemed too exciting a topic for the orator on this 
heated occasion and hence has been monopolized by the com- 
mittee on toasts, where its exciting character may be tempered 

69 Ramsey, An Oration Delivered on the Anniversary of American Inde- 
pendence, July U, 179U, 1-20, 

Listen to the Eagle Scream 315 

by ice water and other cooling compounds. So it is obvious 
that the path of a Fourth of July orator ... is like that spoken 
of in a popular song not unknown in this community, 'A hard 
road to Travel'." 53 

Nevertheless a few North Carolina orators found some new 
ideas to emphasize. The Reverend Joshua Lawrence, speaking 
in Tarboro in 1830, warned against a state supported church. 
Said he: "I tell you that in my candid opinion, that the in- 
dependence and liberty of our country is in more danger at 
this time from priestcraft, than it has ever been since the 
revolution, from all the nations of the earth, or any past or 
present source whatever; and I wish to remind you, that 
united we stand, divided we fall, a prey to the tyranny of 
kings or priests. Yea, if you suffer the priests by law to ride on 
your back, you will soon, I assure you, have to carry a king 
behind him." 54 T. Loring, speaking at Wilmington in 1833, 
chose to emphasize the preservation of the Union against the 
threat of nullification and secession. He declared that "the 
most effectual safeguard of our liberties will be found in 
public education." 55 An orator at Tarboro in 1844 chose to 
speak on "The Importance of Female Education." Pleading 
for equal rights for women he argued that liberty and freedom 
could be maintained only by an educated citizenry. 56 In the 
crisis of 1850, a Tarboro orator exhibited intellectual courage 
as well as love of the Union. "Surrounded by an audience, 
whose sentiments on the topics it was his duty to discuss he 
knew to be as opposite as possible, he yet by founding his 
sentiments on those facts which all Unionists knew to be 
true and all secessionists felt to be true, impressed upon each 
and all the strict equality in importance of Southern Rights 
and Union, and made all feel that though the one was nearly 
essential to our glory and prosperity, it could not stand unless 
the other was respected." 57 In like manner an orator at Ra- 

63 Washington National Intelligencer, July 15, 1854. 

54 Reverend Joshua Lawrence, A Patriotic Discourse, Delivered by the 
Rev. Joshua Lawrence, at the Old Church in Tarborough, N. C., on Sunday 
the Fourth of July, 1830 (n.p. or d.), 29. 

56 Wilmington People's Press and Advertiser, July 17, 1833. 

56 Tarboro Free Press, July 9, 1844. 

57 Tarboro Free Press, July 12, 1851. 

316 The North Carolina Historical Review 

leigh on the same day chose the Union as his theme, and 
"portrayed in a most impressive and masterly manner its value 
and importance to the maintenance of our liberties, and the 
safety, peace and prosperity of the whole country." 58 

Dr. J. N. Danforth, in an address on "Thoughts on the 
Fourth of July, 1847," reached a new high in originality of 
thought and courage of expression. He decried illiteracy 
and ignorance, the misery and cruelty of the state prison 
system, and the destitution of the poverty stricken, and de- 
manded that the state and the nation give every possible aid 
to the eradication of these evils. He likewise called upon the 
people to encourage progress in science, to improve the means 
of communication of ideas as well as of things, and to extend 
equal political rights to all people. But his special plea was 
for pacifism. "Let us not deceive ourselves," said he, "with 
the phantom of military glory, after which so many are grasp- 
ing only to be disappointed. Military glory depends for its 
acquisition on war, and war is one of the most bitter and 
blasting conditions of humanity. It is the daughter of pride 
and the mother of all kinds of abominations and disasters. 
It is one of the greatest curses to which humanity was ever 
abandoned. It breeds idleness, intemperance, infidelity, and 
all manner of licentiousness. It robs wives of their husbands, 
and children of their fathers. As it authorizes murder on a 
large scale, so it affords the opportunity and shield for all 
sorts of petty murders and assassinations. It involves an 
enormous expenditure of money, and encourages all kinds of 
wastefulness, creating bloated fortunes for some, and ruining 
others. It converts peaceful fields into the arenas of horrid 
strife, making of them shambles for the shedding of human 
blood, and instead of the quiet, cheerful, golden harvest of 
nature, substitutes the gloomy harvest of death, where, in- 
stead of the grateful song of the reaper, may be heard the 
bitter oath and execration; instead of the tranquil toil of the 
husband-man, yielding fruit, may be seen the fierce tumult 
of armed men, resulting in nothing but weeping widows, 
childless parents, and mourning brothers and sisters. . . . War 

Raleigh Star, July 9, 1851. 

Listen to the Eagle Scream 317 

introduces a train of evils which a whole generation is scarce- 
ly sufficient to repair, polluting the morals, [and] prostrating 
the barriers of society." 59 Danforth further ridiculed the ideas 
of honor, glory, chivalry, and the beau ideal in warfare. It 
must have taken a good deal of moral and intellectual courage 
for a man to deliver such a philippic against war at the very 
time the United States was engaged in the popular war with 
Mexico. In recent times a Danforth would have been thrown 
into prison for saying much less. 

By and large the Fourth of July orations reveal a common 
pattern of thought and feeling. The orator generally recited 
American colonial history and found the hand of God direct- 
ing in every crisis and leading the colonists along the road to 
independence; he emphasized the love of liberty of the early 
Americans; he lauded the colonists for their long suffering 
endurance of tyranny; he damned George III and the British 
government for their flagrant disregard of the rights of man; 
he glorified the heroism of American men and women in the 
bitter struggle for independence; he expressed reverence for 
the leaders of the Revolution, especially George Washington; 
and he praised the system of government established in the 
United States as the most perfect under heaven. He then 
urged his hearers to attack current problems in a spirit similar 
to that of the founding fathers. He pointed with pride to the 
wonderful progress of the country and expressed hope and 
faith in the future progress and greatness of the United States. 
Throughout the discourse he indulged in Biblical quotations, 
classical allusions, and high sounding phrases that made his 
speech a masterpiece "of oratory according to the canons of 
the day." But despite its bombast and platitudes the Fourth 
of July oration "epitomized the whole pattern of American 
political thought and feeling. . . . [It] was ... an invitation 
to patriotism . . . and [an] inspiration for loyalty to the 
nation." 60 

69 Reverend J. N. Danforth, "Thoughts on the Fourth of July, 1847," 
The Southern and Western Literary Messenger and Review, XIII (July, 
1847), 502-505. 

60 Merle Curti, The Roots of American Loyalty (New York: Columbia 
University Press, 1946), 140-141. 

318 The North Carolina Historical Review 

While not as important as the orator, newspaper editors 
played a significant role in the Fourth celebrations. They 
were often called upon to deliver an address, but more im- 
portant they published plans for the day, tried to whip up 
enthusiasm on the part of the people, wrote an annual editori- 
al on the Fourth, always printed an account of the day's 
festivities often including the address in full and occasionally 
reprinting the entire Declaration of Independence. 

In the 1830s northern newspapers reported a decline in 
interest in the festivities in that section. They declared that 
in many towns and cities the day passed without any observ- 
ance, and they noted general apathy on the part of the people. 
North Carolina editors, almost without exception, expressed 
satisfaction that such was not the case in the Old North State 
and in the South generally. "Notwithstanding the apathy 
complained of in some parts of the Union," said the editor of 
the Raleigh Register, on July 6, 1839, "our national Jubilee 
was celebrated in this city with becoming honors." Ten years 
later he declared, "there are but few places in the Union, 
where, in proportion to means and population, the day is 
celebrated with more lively enthusiasm" than in North Caro- 
lina. 61 "Unusual demonstrations," "much enthusiasm," "un- 
usually animated gathering," and "unusually spirited" were 
descriptive phrases he used during the 1850's. The editor of 
the Raleigh Southern Weekly Post corroborated the Registers 
views. He said, "while in other sections of our country the day 
is permitted to pass without any special demonstration, we 
are rejoiced to see that in North Carolina the spirit of patrio- 
tism burns as brightly as it did in the days of the Revolu- 
tion." 62 In Tarboro also the people continued to celebrate the 
day with old time vigor. In 1852 they did so with "more than 
usual enthusiasm." 63 

South Carolina editors found that the people of that state, 
too, were unflagging in their "devotion to the principles of 
the revolution." Year after year rolls on but they are "de- 
termined to keep burning for ever the vestal fire of liberty, 

61 Raleigh Register, July 7, 1849. 

62 Raleigh Southern Weekly Post, July 7, 1842. 
88 Tarboro Southerner, July 10, 1852. 

Listen to the Eagle Scream 319 

kindled by our fathers in the temple of union," and they 
rejoice in the success of the "glorious experiment of popular 
self-government." South Carolinians had had their "reverses 
and trials" but nothing had transpired to shake their "con- 
fidence in the stability and permanence" of the principles of 
the Declaration of Independence and the value of the Union. 
On the "contrary, the experience of the past only brightens 
the hope of the future, that our career will continue to realize 
its full promise of individual happiness and national glory." 64 

However, a Wilmington, North Carolina, editor in 1851 
recognized "a gradual abatement of the fervor which sig- 
nalized the earlier celebrations. The heart of the nation is less 
powerfully moved. The chord of public feeling responds less 
strongly to the note of festivity." 65 Among the reasons which 
he offered for the decline was the repetitious nature of the 
celebrations which, attended year after year, tended to de- 
velop an attitude of boredom. Furthermore, a new generation, 
born and nurtured in peace and prosperity, did not and 
could not respond to the Fourth as did their forefathers who 
had fought and bled for their independence. 

Another Wilmington editor in the late 1850's admitted a 
declining interest in the Fourth throughout the entire South. 
He attributed the change to growing sectional divergence 
and charged northern abolitionists with responsibility. The 
harmony which the Fourth should engender, said he in 1856, 
was being submerged by the "wild torrent of fanaticism" 
which was sweeping over the North." "Thousands of preach- 
ers and orators at the North [said he] will avail themselves of 
the opportunity [on the Fourth] to instil hatred to the South 
and her institutions. . . . We cannot, therefore, look forward 
to the influence of the day with the same hopeful feelings 
that used to animate us on such occasions. . . . We cannot but 
think that the state of affairs is such as to induce a deeper 
and more thoughtful tone than usually characterizes the 
occasion." 66 The next year he declared that the liberty of the 
South was threatened by the North. Will we, he asked, be 

64 Charleston Courier, July 4, 1843. 

65 Wilmington Tri Weekly Commercial, July 5, 1851. 

66 Wilmington Daily Journal, July 3, 1856. 

320 The North Carolina Historical Review 

able to celebrate the centennial of the Fourth which is only 
nineteen years off? He concluded that Southern orators could 
not content themselves "simply with glorifying over the great 
even in honor of which the day is celebrated." We may con- 
gratulate ourselves that we can still meet around a common 
altar, but "the more ominous question will obtrude itself on 
the mind — How long will this be so?" 6T Unfortunately his 
speculations were true; in less than five years his own city 
was to abandon the celebration of the birthday of the 

[To be concluded] 


Wilmington Daily Journal, July 3, 1857. 

: : Ktf ; fe 

James E. McGirt 
North Carolina Negro Poet 


By John W. Parker 

James Ephraim McGirt's (1874-1930) forthright pro- 
nouncement that "I would not have written one line had 
nature not forced me" together with the constantly-recurring 
conviction that he was destined to remain on the outer slopes 
rather than to ascend the heights of Parnassus, probably 
points up the fact that he continued to turn out creative verse 
for one reason: he simply could not help himself. Once the 
urge to write struck him, it straightway became an obsession; 
it loomed as the measure of a worthwhile existence. He saw, 
or thought he saw, beyond the immediate difficulties that 
combined to obscure his view— financial insecurity, limited 
training, a dearth of contacts with men of like interests, and of 
course, his movement in a disadvantageous "out-group" in a 
land of plenty. His contribution to American letters, by no 
means pronounced, is perhaps more individual than racial. A 
dreamer whose dreams never come true, this literary en- 
thusiast nevertheless deserves to be remembered not so much 
because of the radiance and charm of his personality or the 
excellence of his literary output, but because of his devotion 
to a worthy ideal and his struggle to reach it in the face of 
overwhelming odds. 

McGirt's roots were deeply regional. Born the son of Madi- 
son and Ellen (Townsend) McGirt, he first sat up and took 
notice out in the hinterlands of Robeson County near Lum- 
berton, North Carolina, a region that to this day has remained 
almost wholly rural in outlook as in atmosphere and economy. 
His father had grown up in these fertile cornlands and had 
become a part of them as had the several generations of 
McGirts that had preceded him. With his mother, however, 
the mettle was reversed, for while she was brought up on a 
farm near Rowland, North Carolina, she became a woman of 
fine bearing and of strong personality, a punctilious religionist 


322 The North Carolina Historical Review 

who was wont to call into her home casual passers-by for a 
moral lecture and to quote for them at great length from the 
Bible. It was she who invisioned for the poet-to-be a life far 
removed from the hill regions of Robeson County. Perhaps 
more than anything else, it was her insistence upon "living 
apart" even from the neighbors next door that accounts for 
the fact that no one of her four children was ever married. A 
second cousin, Mrs. Zilphia McNair Waugh, who came in 
1930 to live with the then-depleted McGirt family tells of 
how at the age of 82, "Aunt" Ellen talked mysteriously to the 
neighbors about "going away" and how on the following 
Sunday, in response to what she construed to be a fire alarm, 
she rushed out of the church into the path of a moving vehicle 
and sustained injuries from which she never recovered. 1 

The warmth and encouragement of a stable Christian home 
facilitated McGirt's struggle to outdistance the discourage- 
ment that was almost invariably part and parcel of his daily 
lot. A strong in-group feeling was always present, perhaps too 
much so. For his early training he enrolled in a private school 
at Lumberton, North Carolina, where for many years the 
principal was David Allen. It was here that romances were 
established with three youthful schoolmates, Alice Peppers, 
Edith Merritt, and Anna Allen, daughter of the principal. 
The memory of each of them he immortalized in a love poem 
written many years later. Presently, however, the McGirts 
moved on. This time they settled in a rural community not a 
great distance from Rowland, North Carolina, where again 
they devoted themselves to agricultural pursuits. 2 

Traditionally, the Lumberton-Rowland region, more or less 
symbolic of the South as a whole, has fostered a bi-racial or- 
ganization with its corresponding social codes and conven- 
tional mores which have resulted in the maintenance of social 
distance between the races. The business of growing up in 
this rural community back in the eighties and the nineties 
hardly makes a fascinating story. For young McGirt the days 

1 Information secured in interview on August 24, 1952, with Mrs. Zilphia 
McNair Waugh, 605 Ramsey Street, Fayetteville, North Carolina. 

2 Information secured in interview on August 24, 1952, with Mrs. Mary 
Gavin (McGirt's first cousin), P. 0. Box 38, Lumberton, North Carolina. 

James Ephraim McGirt 323 

came and went; they were wont to afford more work than 
play, more rain than sunshine, but somehow at the end of the 
day there was always time for serious reflection upon what 
the tomorrows might bring. Quite unconsciously, during these 
formative years, the poet-to-be was acquainting himself with 
a mode of life subsequently to be reflected in his published 
writings. Today, however, James E. McGirt is a forgotten man 
even by the scattered McGirt families that still cluster in the 
remote sections of Robeson County. His name is mere fiction; 
farmers and veneer-plant workers alike speak in vague and 
uncertain terms about this poet of the long ago. 

As a youth McGirt moved with his parents from Rowland 
to Greensboro, North Carolina. Here working as laundress 
and as drayman they combined their efforts to establish a 
home on Island Street. 3 

Writing poetry during his spare moments, McGirt con- 
tinued his education in the Greensboro public schools and 
earned money by doing an assortment of odd jobs. "Bud," as 
he was known about the campus, entered Bennett College 
in 1892 and after a three-year period of study was awarded 
the bachelor's degree in 1895. 4 

Meanwhile, the impulse for literary expression, an inclina- 
tion that had lingered since childhood, became increasingly 
insistent and McGirt was content to follow no other. In some 
respects the years immediately following the turn of the 
century were favorable to pioneering in American Negro 
literature. By 1906, Paul Laurence Dunbar, writing both in 
dialect and in standard English, had captured the popular 
imagination of the American people; Charles W. Chestnutt 
was the best writer of prose fiction the race had produced; 
and William Stanley Braithwaite whom McGirt had chanced 
to meet in Washington, D. C, around 1900 was turning out 
scholarly verse that was free from racial exclusiveness. More- 
over, the dialect tradition was enjoying a heyday, and a critic 
of the calibre of William Dean Howells was loud in his praise 

3 Information secured in interview on March 6, 1952, with Miss Geneva J. 
Holmes, 1308 Lindsay Street, Greensboro, North Carolina. 

* Letter (in author's possession) , dated February 19, 1952, from Dr. Willa 
B. Player, Bennett College, Greensboro, North Carolina. 

324 The North Carolina Historical Review 

of Dunbar's dialect poems, but remained indifferent to his 
pieces in standard English. Indeed, it was a brave new period 
in American Negro literature when one heard an occasional 
Negro voice in lonesome wood. 

In 1899, McGirt's initial volume of poems, Avenging the 
Maine, made its appearance. For the most part short and 
lyric in quality, the poems that comprise this slender book 
touch upon a number of topics. A good many of them are 
concerned with the poet's love of land and of country things 
during the flow of season. "The Evening," for example, points 
up the joy and mirth that settles upon "children in the harvest 
field" at the close of the day; and the four-line lyric, "Our 
Picnic," portrays a social and an emotional situation in which 
rustic life is glorified for a day perhaps by contrast with the 
drudgery that normally attaches to it. It falls short, however, 
in the matter of structure; everywhere the style unlike the 
mood is heavy and the rhymes uncertain. And the piece, "A 
View of Childhood," amounts to the definition of a situation 
in which the simple pleasures of rural life pass all but un- 
noticed by a "playful lad" but gather luster when viewed 
in retrospect. Certainly his initial love poem, "Edith," reveals 
the author's penchant for moralizing and for eighteenth cen- 
tury artificiality. It is an extravaganza written in response to 
his love affair with Edith Merritt at the Allen Private School 
in Lumberton where they were wont to meet "in the park 
under a mossy tree." 

Smarting under the pressure exerted by his forced move- 
ment in a "disadvantaged out-group," it is small wonder that 
the Negro-white aspect of the American racial problem 
should have become the basis for much of McGirt's literary 
striving. In the poem "Slavery," for example, he holds up to 
ridicule the moral and spiritual enslavement of Negro women, 
otherwise as "pure as the dewdrops," and the central figure 
in "Don't Laugh, Boys" is an old Negro man whose shattered 
body and blurred outlook bespeak the tragedy of slavery in 
America. Pathetic irony finds its way into "Memory of 
Lincoln and the Yankees," a poem which by implication pits 
the "dear old friends we darkies cherish" against the whites 

James Ephraim McGirt 325 

below the Mason-Dixon line, much to the disparagement of 
the latter group. "Classes" is a clever satire on the conven- 
tional mores that combine to obscure the perspective of the 
race. In it McGirt implies the paradox described in Countee 
Cullen's moving lines: 

Yet do I marvel at this curious thing — 
To make a poet black and bid him sing. 

And as though it had not been done to death already, Mc- 
Girt employed the dialect medium in some of his poems; but, 
for the most part, it was dialect characterized by a strange 
and irregular blending of dialect words with those of standard 
English. In the preface to Avenging the Maine, he explains 
that "since most illiterate persons live with those who are 
cultured, they speak correctly one half of their words." 5 He 
insists that he has written just as the masses impressed him. 
The line "Dat's no Sin Yer going ter get mad" from the poem 
"No Use in Signs" suggests something of the character and the 
quality of his dialect expression. As sensitive and dignified a 
man as he was, it is hard to believe that McGirt had any 
serious interest in dialect as a literary medium. William Dean 
Howells's praise for Dunbar's pieces in dialect as opposed to 
those in standard English may have inspired McGirt to bid for 
similar recognition. 

Perhaps as a natural consequence of the influence that 
attended his early years, especially the religious example set 
by his mother, a fairly sizable group of McGirt's poems pos- 
sesses a distinct didactic flavor. Not infrequently the tone is 
that of a sermon directed at the wayward sinner who has 
fallen victim to the pleasures of the moment. A case in point 
is the long narrative poem, "A Drunken A. B.," which recounts 
the progress of degradation on the part of a brilliant college- 
bred youth in response to an unhappy love affair. Similarly, 
in the lyric outburst, "Satan," the author deplores this ever- 
present evil force in the whole range of human endeavor: 

6 James E. McGirt, Avenging the Maine (Raleigh: Edwards and Brough- 
ton Company, 1900, Second Edition), preface, 1. Volume located in The 
University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill. 

326 The North Carolina Historical Review 

He lurks around poverty, 

He lurks in gold; 
He's always on duty 

Seeking a soul. 

And an accounting for laxity in social vision and in social 
action is implied in "Nothing to Do": 

Jails are crowded, 
In Sunday Schools few; 
We still complain, 
There's nothing to do. 

Heathen are dying, 
Their blood falls on you; 
How can you people, 
Find nothing to do? 

Obviously, Avenging the Maine is a collection of poems of 
uneven quality. By and large, the poems it contains are crude 
in rhyme and in verse form, limited in vocabulary, and defec- 
tive in poetic diction. They exhibit all too few of the subtler 
qualities that distinguish poetry from prose. McGirt's aware- 
ness of these shortcomings found expression in the preface to 
the volume. "These poems were written under very unfavor- 
able circumstances. . . . Often at my work bench when I 
thought greater speed was needed to finish my daily task, 
these poems would flash into my mind and I would be restless 
to sketch them upon paper that I might retain them until the 
day's work was done. Sometimes I could find it convenient to 
do so; sometimes I could not, and when I would fail to sketch 
them, at night the muse would not return." 6 There is this, 
however, to say about the mixed feeling that was accorded his 
initial literary production: it brought him concern as to the 
futility of his literary striving, but not dismay. Running 
throughout this, as through his succeeding publications, is 
a distinct Darwinian note which may account in part for his 
obvious lack of humor. 

Meanwhile in 1900, McGirt brought out the second en- 

6 James E. McGirt, Avenging the Maine (Raleigh: Edwards and Brough- 
ton Company, 1899, First Edition), preface, 1. Volume located in The Uni- 
versity of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill. 

James Ephraim McGirt 327 

larged edition of Avenging the Maine. Even with the presence 
of seventeen new poems, the second edition is scarcely an 
improvement over the first. One notes no greater depth of 
feeling, no wider range of interests, and no more firm mastery 
of the art of poetry. Disillusionment and pessimism persist in 
poems like "Blame Not the Poet" and "Why Should I De- 
plore?" Of the poems that appear for the first time, "Two 
Spirits" and "God Bless Our Country" are perhaps the best. 

Even though the Register of Copyrights 7 in Washington, 
D. C. has been able to track down only one copyright for 
Avenging the Maine under the date of October 21, 1899, 
there appeared in 1901 the third revised and "enlarged edi- 
tion," McGirt's third book of poems in as many years. It was 
released in Philadelphia by George F. Lasher, Printer and 
Binder, although the preface was dated from Greensboro, 
North Carolina. Actually, this was neither larger nor an 
improved edition; far from it. As a matter of fact, it contained 
one poem less than the volume of 1900. It is difficult to see 
how the third printing of essentially the same book adds any- 
thing whatsoever to the young poet's literary reputation. One 
probable explanation for the quality of the work found in 
Avenging the Maine ( 1901 ) , however, is the fact that during 
the same year McGirt's fourth volume of poems, Some Simple 
Songs and a Few More Ambitious Attempts, was released in 
Philadelphia. The collection contained exactly twenty-one 
poems, only six of which had not appeared previously in one 
of the three editions of Avenging the Maine. In the preface 
the poet took stock of the quality of his poetic output. "In 
my first volume of poems," he observed, "I made some 
apology for my work and I feel I should do the same for this 
little volume ... I feel that Some Simple Songs is a great im- 
provement over Avenging the Maine, and if my next volume 
is as much better than Some Simple Songs, it will need no 
apology." 8 The collection discloses increased facility in the 

7 Letter (in author's possession) , dated April 17, 1952, from Richard A. 
MacCarteney, Chief, Reference Division, Copyrights Office, Washington, 
D. C. 

8 James E. McGirt, Some Simple Songs and a Few More Ambitious At- 
tempts (Philadelphia: George F. Lasher, Printer and Binder, 1901), preface, 
1. Available in The University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill. 

328 The North Carolina Historical Review 

matter of poetic art. There is, for example, the extravaganza 
"Queen Victoria" done in Popean couplets; it reflects the type 
of overly-elaborate praise that is often characteristic of 
eighteenth century English literature. Implicit in "The Cen- 
tury Prayer" is the author's growth of perspective, for it 
amounts to a fervent and a dignified prayer for the reign of 
peace throughout the world; everywhere, it is reminiscent of 
Kipling's "Recessional." 

Other poems in the collection are clearly autobiographical 
in character. "Success" turns out to be a sober declaration of 
intention to bid, come what may, for literary immortality. 
He ponders: 

Yet to despair I can but droop and die, 
'Tis better for me to try the lashing deep. 

I much prefer beneath the surge to lie, 

Then death to find me on this bank asleep. 

But dejection settles upon him. Temporarily at least, he ex- 
periences a loss of faith. "Tell Me, O Fate," written in the 
vein of "My Song" breathes a note of impending demoraliza- 

Years have I labored, toiled and fought 

But yet no prize I see. 
Tell Me, Fate, if this is all 

That shall ever be. 

With respect to the poems that comprise Some Simple Songs, 
however, Professors Newman I. White and Walter C. Jackson, 
formerly of Trinity College and the Woman's College of The 
University of North Carolina respectively, conclude that "the 
best of them are mediocre." 9 

Something of McGirt's pride and of the financial strain and 
the frustration that accompanied his literary efforts during the 
early years of the century are implied in a letter he wrote on 
May 12, 1903, to Thomas Nelson Page from Hampton, Vir- 

9 Newman I. White and Walter C. Jackson, Editors, An Anthology of 
Verse by American Negroes (Durham: Trinity College Press, 1924), 230. 

James Ephraim McGirt 329 

May 12, 1903 
Mr. Page: 

Were you a man who did not know my people, I would not 
write you this letter for fear you would not understand me. 
But somehow I feel as though you can interpret my feelings 
and consider them. 

Now for fear you do not remember who I am, I will say that 
1 am the would-be-poet (colored) that called to see you last 
winter. I wish to say that on the account of a mother and a 
disabled father to look after, my mind is not as clear for poetry 
as I would like. 

I have been striving for some time to get a little money ahead 
in order that I could give more time to my poetry. But, Sir, 
for the love of my sickly father and mother, I must have some 

Excuse what I have said about assistance. No, I shall not 
beg. But let me ask that if you see any way to aid me, I shall 
gladly accept. Should you need anyone to take care of your 
house this summer, please give me the position. If you need a 
man to do anything around the house, please give me the place. 
Give me a trial. I think I can please you. 

If you can give me anything to do, I hope you will consider 
me; and if God will give me the strength, I will add a line to 
American poetry for which you shall have the praise — for I 
must say that he who comes to my rescue at this time shall 
be the saving of my literary proclivities, if I have any, for it 
seems as though fate will conquer me at last. 

I hope you will see more in these lines than I have stated. 
Pride will not let me say more. 10 

I remain yours, 
James E. McGirt 
203 Lincoln Street 
Hampton, Virginia 

Gradually, however, McGirt came to understand that his 
talents could never be brought to full fruition in the South, 
and by August, 1903, he had taken up permanent residence 
in Philadelphia. Here he hoped to gain a fresh start in the 
business of creative writing. Disappointed with the mixed 
reception of Some Simple Songs, he turned temporarily from 
the writing of poetry to a position as editor and publisher of 
McGirt's Magazine, an illustrated monthly devoted to art, 

10 McGirt to Thomas Nelson Page, May 12, 1903. Rare Manuscript Col- 
lection, Duke University Library, Durham, North Carolina. 

330 The North Carolina Historical Review 

science, literature, and to the general interest. "I publish this 
magazine," he wrote, "in order that we may have a paper that 
will be read by the white race as well as the colored that they 
may know great men of our race and what they are doing 
and saying." 11 The publication sold for ten cents a copy or one 
dollar a year and, like the Crisis that made its appearance 
seven years later, it was an organ for the expression of all sorts 
of ideas calculated to enhance the position of the Negro peo- 
ple in American life. Success stories and pictures of Negro 
leaders abounded; throughout one discovered a strong under- 
current of exhibitionism and propaganda— minority tech- 
niques to which the American Negro has resorted recurrently. 

The business grew and by 1905 McGirt found it necessary 
to secure larger quarters. "For two years," he pointed out, "I 
have had complete control of the magazine, and I have been 
so well pleased with it that I have placed both the savings 
of a lifetime in it, as well as a reputation that has taken me 
more than twelve years of hard labor and honest dealing to 
build up. This year I have merged the McGirt Magazine and 
its entire property into what is known as McGirt's Publishing 
Company in order that persons who invest with us may be 
absolutely safe, and at the same time clear at least 2B* per 
cent on every dollar." 12 

Shares in the business sold for a minimum of one dollar 
each, and the sales multiplied. McGirt's Magazine was never- 
theless weak in content as in organization and balance. No 
issues of it are available beyond that of December, 1907. 13 

McGirt wrote music also and gave a portion of his time to 
lecture-reading tours. Those were the days of the honorary 
Ph.D. degree and beginning in 1905, the caption beneath the 
poet's name read: James E. McGirt, Ph.D. Nevertheless, he 
remained an unhappy man, for despite his growing success 
in business, he longed for the day when he would move as an 
established poet. True to the prediction made in 1901, his new 

11 James E. McGirt, McGirt's Magazine, I (September, 1903), 1. 

™ McGirt, McGirt's Magazine, I (September, 1903), 28. 

13 Issues of McGirt's Magazine for September and December, 1903, Novem- 
ber, 1907, may be found in the Moorland Collection, Howard University 
Library, Washington, D, C. 

James Ephraim McGirt 331 

book of poems, For Your Sweet Sake ( 1905 ) did reflect im- 
provement over Some Simple Songs. While a majority of the 
forty-four poems had been published elsewhere, and while 
the volume as a whole discloses the stamp of the novice, it 
remains the best collection of poems he has turned out. No- 
where else in the whole range of his poetic output does one 
find the buoyancy, the intensity, and the genuine lyric quality 
as that reflected in "Born Like the Pines." In one of the three 
stanzas he insists that he was: 

Born like the pines to sing, 

The harp and the song in m' breast, 

Though far and near, 
There's none to hear 

I'll sing at the wind's request. 

A good many of the poems in this collection stem from 
McGirt's own unhappy experience in love. "If Love Were 
Wooing" and "Anna, Won't You Marry Me?," for example, 
point up the poet's romantic interests in Alice Pepper and in 
Anna Allen respectively, one time schoolmates of his at the 
Allen Private School in Lumberton, North Carolina. They had 
somehow commanded an increasingly large place in his 
imagination as the years had passed. It so happens that the 
title of his concluding volume of poems, For Your Sweet Sake 
(1905), was inspired by his high regard for Irene Gallaway, 
the one woman whom he loved almost to the point of despera- 
tion, but never ventured to marry. At length, she married an- 
other and settled in Greensboro as a teacher of history at the 
Dudley High School. Coupled with an all-consuming love 
affair, forever confused by his mother's intervention, was the 
growing conviction that he would never be a poet of conse- 
quence. A defeatist note runs through the poem, "Defeated," 
and occasionally one senses here as elsewhere an undercur- 
rent of self accusation akin to Dunbar's. 

The question of the existence of A Mystery and Other 
Poems, a book of verse reputed to have been written by Mc- 
Girt and published in Philadelphia in 1906, remains a matter 
of conjecture. The lone reference to it is found in The Library 

332 The North Carolina Historical Review 

of Southern Literature. 14 For Your Sweet Sake (1906) con- 
tains no preface which might conceivably illuminate the 
matter, and while McGirt's Magazine for November, 1907, 
calls attention to both The Triumphs of Ephraim ( 1907 ) and 
For Your Sweet Sake ( 1906 ) , it fails to mention A Mystery 
and Other Poems. Likewise, it is significant that neither 
Dorothy B. Porter's North American Negro Poets: A Biblio- 
graphical Checklist of Their Writings, 1760-1944, nor a special 
search conducted by the Copyrights Office in Washington, 
D. C., 15 reveals any such title. It is likely that A Mystery and 
Other Poems was never written nor published, and that Mc- 
Girt's poem, "A Mystery" found in For Your Sweet Sake 
( 1906), was sometimes erroneously listed as a book. The fact 
that in each case the year of publication is identical further 
supports this position. And, interestingly enough, there is no 
record that McGirt ever mentioned A Mystery and Other 
Poems as a publication he had authored. 

The Triumphs of Ephraim 16 ( 1907 ) , a book of short stories 
released by the McGirt Publishing Company in Philadelphia, 
may mean that in desperation McGirt turned to yet another 
literary medium— the short story. This group of stories, 
everywhere indicative of a limited locale, stems from the 
problems arising from the Negro's juxtaposition with the 
white majority in America— color prejudice, exploitation, the 
operation of restrictive convenants and of the frustration— ag- 
gression phenomenon. By and large they are problem stories 
the author has to tell. Those like "Hail the King and Queen" 
and "From the Clutches of the Devil" point up the friction 
that results from the presence of the color line among Negroes 
themselves, while "In Love as in War" reaches deep down in 
North Carolina soil. As sketches go, some of these despite 
their consistent weakness in characterization and in plot, 
make good reading. Obviously, they reflect the author's 

11 Lucian L. Knight, Editor, The Library of Southern Literature (Atlanta: 
The Martin and Hoyt Company, 1910), XV, 277. 

15 Richard A. MacCarteney, Chief, Division of Copyrights Office, Wash- 
ington, D. C, reported his investigation of the matter in a letter dated 
April 17, 1952, which is in author's possession. 

18 In Schomburg Collection of the New York Public Library, 104 West 
136th Street, New York 30, New York. 

James Ephraim McGirt 333 

penchant for the "happy-ending" story which, as he conceives 
it, exists not so much for "sheer delight" as for attesting to the 
virtue of the black man's struggle for first-rate citizenship in 
America. Throughout, however, McGirt's stories lack warmth 
and freshness and vigor; nor do they always focus attention 
upon aspects of life that stir our emotions deeply. 

By 1910 McGirt's sojourn in Philadelphia had come to an 
end and he returned to Greensboro to attend the funeral of 
his brother, and to provide for his parents. As regards the 
quality of his literary output and the task that lay ahead of 
him, an anonymous writer for the North Carolina Review 
(Raleigh) commented in 1910: 

McGirt has been in a sense "lucky" in the sense of oppor- 
tunity. He found friends who had both encouragement and 
money to offer him. He went to Philadelphia and he "made 
good. ,, He has written poetry and short stories. It is real poetry, 
and they are real short stories. 

Chestnutt, who promised much has a successor who promises 
even more .... 

The North has lauded McGirt. It has sung his genius, bought 
his poems, and hailed him as what he was not — an exponent 
of his race. Intellectually, he is, on the other hand, an excep- 
tion. What the North does not see — and what the South 
can appreciate — is that, barring his gift, he is typical of his 

Poet McGirt's present mission is to write of the Southern 
Negro for Northern magazines. We do not doubt, after a casual 
interview, that he will do so wisely. 17 

But McGirt did not follow this injunction. Except for 
desultory writing and occasional lecture-reading tours, his 
literary career had run its course. Having withdrawn himself 
from the literary scene, he proceeded to purchase a ten-room 
house on fashionable Ashe Street in Greensboro, and with the 
aid of his sister, Mary Magdalene, to convert the little-known 
Star Hair Grower Manufacturing Company into a lucrative 
business concern. In Greensboro as in Philadelphia his con- 

17 «1 

'North Carolina Negro Poet," The North Carolina Review, Supplement 
of Raleigh News and Observer, April 3, 1910, p. 7. Available in The Uni- 
versity of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill. 

334 The North Carolina Historical Review 

cern provided employment, as he once remarked, "for scores 
of Negro men and women." For nearly a decade he manu- 
factured hair grower and a complete line of toilet articles and 
notions for markets throughout the United States. Some of 
his products went to Canada and to markets abroad. 18 

By 1918 McGirt's property holdings in Greensboro and in 
adjacent towns were considerable and he gave up his work 
with the Hair Grower Manufacturing Company to become a 
realtor, a position which subsequently he had to relinquish 
because of continuing ill health, business incompetence, and 

On the occasion of the author's passing in Greensboro in 
1930, the Greensboro Daily Neivs for June 14, 1930, comment- 
ed: 'James E. McGirt, one of the best-known Negro citizens 
of Greensboro, died early Friday morning at the L. Richard- 
son Memorial Hospital. He was a poet, a writer of songs, and 
the editor of McGirt's Magazine, and had been engaged in 
business for many years." 19 Unfortunately there is no marker 
for his grave in the Maplewood Cemetery in Greensboro. 

Despite the brilliant afterglow of his success in business, 
James Ephraim McGirt's interest in creative literature per- 
sisted; he remained a poet at heart, but forever a poet of 
"hope deferred." 

Works by McGirt 

Avenging the Maine (Raleigh: Edwards and Broughton Com- 
pany, 1899). 

Avenging the Maine (Raleigh: Edwards and Broughton Com- 
pany, 1900, Second and Enlarged Edition). 

Avenging the Maine (Philadelphia: George F. Lasher Print- 
ing Company, 1901, Third Revised and Enlarged Edition). 

Some Simple Songs and a Few More Ambitious Attempts (Phil- 
adelphia: George F. Lasher Printing Company, 1901). 

For Your Stveet Sake (Philadelphia: The John C. Winston Com- 
pany, 1906). 

18 Information obtained in interview on August 28, 1952, with Sterling 
Waugh, 605 Ramsey Street, Fayetteville, North Carolina. 
w Greensboro Daily News, XLII (June 14, 1930), 4. 

James Ephraim McGirt 335 

The Triumphs of Ephraim (Philadelphia: The McGirt Pub- 
lishing Company, 1907). Materials on McGirt. 

Lamor L. Lucian, Editor, The Library of Southern Literature 
(Atlanta : The Martin and Hoyt Company, 1907) , XV, 503. 

Newman I. White and Walter C. Jackson, Editors, An Anthology 
of Verse by American Negroes (Durham: Trinity College 
Press, 1924), 230. 

By Hugh F. Rankin 

As the year 1780 drew to a close, the rebellious colonies 
which had dared challenge the military might of Great Britain 
were hanging on the ropes. The capricious gods of war, al- 
ways fickle in conferring their favors, seemed to have once 
again switched allegiance. The hard-earned victories and 
near- victories by the Americans had now faded into pleasant 
memories. The triumph at King's Mountain was the only 
bright spot in an otherwise gloomy picture. 

In the North, the gifted and gregarious Benedict Arnold 
had almost succeeded in transferring control of West Point 
and the Hudson River into the hands of the British, and had 
thrown the patriots into a frenzy of outraged dignity. 

The southern states were in even more desperate straits. 
From the early part of 1779 the British had concentrated their 
chief efforts in this region because the South was considered 
to be the easier to reduce and, from the nature of its products, 
the more valuable to the mother country. 1 It was in this locale 
that the American generals had appeared so inept. General 
Benjamin Lincoln had surrendered somewhat ingloriously 
at Charleston and General Horatio Gates, the hero of Sara- 
toga, had indeed exchanged "the laurels of the North for 
the willows of the South" 2 at Camden. Lord Cornwallis stood 
poised in South Carolina to strike at the rich state of Virginia. 
North Carolina stood between, but North Carolina was con- 
sidered as only "the road to Virginia." 3 Only a few ragged 
remnants of Gates' defeated army stood between the British 
general and his goal. 

The southern army was in a state of crisis. General Gates 
was attempting to reorganize his shattered army at Hills- 

1 Charles Stedman, The History of the Origin, Progress and Termination 
of the American War, 2 vols. (London: Printed for the Author, 1794), II, 

2 Henry Lee, Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department of the 
United States, edited by Robert E. Lee (New York: University Publishing 
Company, 1870), 208. Hereafter cited as Lee, Memoirs. 

3 The Annual Register for 1780, 54. 


Cowpens : Prelude to Yorktown 337 

boro in North Carolina, the place to which he had fled after 
the rout of his forces by Cornwallis at Camden. Members of 
the Continental Congress who, in the not too distant past, 
had sent Gates to the South with cheers and assertions that 
he would "Burgoyne" Cornwallis for sure, were now clamor- 
ing for his recall. The general indignation was reflected in 
the angry statement of one army officer, "He will be blasted 
in this World, and humanly judging, he ought to be in the 
next . . . had he behaved like a soldier himself, Cornwallis 
would have been ruined, and to use a common term, Corn- 
walladed. . . ." 4 Alexander Hamilton openly accused Gates 
of cowardice and emphatically stated his choice for Gates' 

was there ever such an instance of a general running away as 
Gates had done, from his whole army? And was there ever so 
precipitous a flight? One hundred and eighty miles in three 
days and a half? It does admirable credit to the activity of a 
man at his time of life. But it disgraces the general and the 
soldier. . . . But what will be done by Congress? Will he be 
changed or not? If he is changed, for God's sake, overcome 
prejudice and send GREENE. You know my opinion of him. 
I stake my reputation on the events, give him but fair play. 5 

Rumblings from the South added to congressional irritation 
as rumors indicated that Gates had lost the confidence of the 
people and was at odds with General William Smallwood, 
his second in command. 6 The cry for the removal of the un- 
fortunate general became louder and more persistent. 

Major General Nathanael Greene had been General Wash- 
ington's original choice for the southern command, but he 
had been by-passed by Congress in favor of Gates. 7 In this 

4 Richard Varick to John Lamb, Sept. 11, 1780. Isaac Leake, Memoir of 
the Life and Times of General John Lamb, An Officer of the Revolution 
(Albany: Joel Munsell, 1850), 255. 

5 Alexander Hamilton to William Duane, September 6, 1780. John C. 
Hamilton (ed.), The Works of Alexander Hamilton, 7 vols. (New York: 
Charles S. Francis and Company, 1851), II, 124. 

6 Ezekial Cornel to William Greene, October 17, 1780. Edmund C. Burnett 
(ed.), Letters of the Members of the Continental Congress, 8 vols. (Wash- 
ington: Carnegie Institution, 1931), V, 421-422. Hereafter cited as Burnett, 

7 Washington to Greene, n.d., quoted in George Washington Greene, The 
Life of Nathanael Greene, Major-General in the Army of the Revolution, 
3 vols. (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1890), II, 367. 

338 The North Carolina Historical Review 

instance Congress refused to assume the responsibility of 
appointing the new commander, directing Washington to 
select a successor to Gates. 8 Greene was in disfavor with 
many members of Congress, but he was the choice of the 
delegation from the southern states, who urged Washington 
to designate him as the new commander. 9 

Greene, who had just finished presiding over the board of 
general officers which had tried and convicted Major Andre, 10 
had his eyes on the West Point command so recently held by 
Arnold, 11 but Washington would only consent to a temporary 
appointment. 12 Despite the uncertainty of the tenure, Greene 
felt that he was situated for the winter; but before he could 
become settled, a dispatch arrived from headquarters in- 
forming him that he was the choice for the southern com- 
mand, and urging him to set out without delay. 13 

Greene displayed a reluctance to make his departure, but 
under constant prodding from Washington, he left for the 
South on October 23, accompanied by his aides and Baron 
Steuben, who had been ordered to the South, for "there is 
an army to be created, the mass of which is at present with- 
out any formation at all." 14 Greene was no stranger to the 
desperate situation of the southern army. Nine days were 

8 Worthington C. Ford and others (eds.), Journals of the Continental 
Congress, 39 vols., Library of Congress edition (Washington: Government 
Printing Office, 1904-1937), XVIII, 906. 

9 John Matthews to Washington, October 6, 1780. Burnett, Letters, V, 

10 One British observer said of him: "General Greene was originally a 
Quaker, a stern republican, and such was the rancor displayed throughout 
the whole transaction, by him and the Marquis De La Fayette that they 
almost literally be said to have thirsted for the blood of the unfortunate 
victim whom fate had put in their power." R. Lamb, An Original and Au- 
thentic Journal of Occurrences During the Late American War, From Its 
Commencement to the Year 1783 (Dublin: Wilkinson and Courtney, 1809), 

"Greene to Washington, October 5, 1780. Jared Sparks (ed.), Corre- 
spondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to 
General Washington, From, the Time of His Taking Command of the Army 
to the End of His Presidency, 4 vols. (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 
1853), III, 106. 

M Washington to # Greene, October 6, 1780. John C. Fitzpatrick (ed.), The 
Writings of Washington From the Original Manuscript Sources, 1754-1799 
39 vols., Bicentennial edition (Washington: Government Printing Office, 
1931-1941), III, 370-371. 

"Washington to Greene, October 14, 1780. Fitzpatrick, Writhigs of 
Washington, XX, 181-182. 

"Washington to Steuben, October 22, 1780. Fitzpatrick, Writings of 
Washington, XX, 240-241. 

Cowpens : Prelude to Yorktown 339 

spent in Philadelphia— nine days of begging and pleading 
for supplies. He addressed the Congress on the business of 
the southern department, but it was soon apparent that pros- 
pects of aid were "dismal" as that body could furnish no 
money, and the Board of War was devoid of clothing and 
"necessaries." 15 Some six weeks later he described his stay 
in the capital city to Alexander Hamilton: 

At Philadelphia ... I endeavored to impress those in power 
[with] the necessity of sending clothing and supplies of every 
kind, immediately to this army. But poverty was urged as a 
plea, in bar to every application. They all promised fair, but I 
fear will do little : ability is wanting with some, and inclination 
with others. Public credit is so totally lost, that private people 
will not give their aid, though they see themselves involved in 
common ruin. 16 

After leaving Philadelphia the new southern commander 
visited Annapolis and Richmond with the hope of instilling 
some degree of enthusiasm in the governments of Maryland 
and Virginia, but as one of his aides noted, "their ability is 
but small, their funds are empty, and their credit low." 17 
Leaving Baron Steuben in Virginia to expedite the move- 
ment of supplies and assume the responsibilities of the state, 
Greene hastened southward. 18 

He expected to find the southern army at Hillsboro. There 
was no sign of them. He found that Gates had marched 
toward Salisbury where, according to the North Carolina 
Board of War, there was an adequate supply of provisions. 19 
At Salisbury he discovered that General Gates had marched 
for Charlotte, as that village had presented better prospects 

15 Greene to Washington, October 31, 1780. Sparks, Correspondence of 
the American Revolution, III, 137-139. 

16 Greene to Hamilton, January 10, 1781. Hamilton, The Works of Alex- 
ander Hamilton, I, 204. 

"Lewis Morris, Jr., to Jacob Morris, November 20, 1780. Collections of 
the New-York Historical Society for the Year 1875 (New York: The 
Society, 1876), VII, 473. 

18 Greene to Steuben, November 20, 1780. Friedrich Kapp, The Life of 
Frederick William Von Steuben, Major General in the Revolutionary Army 
(New York: Mason Brothers, 1859), 347-349. > 

19 O. H. Williams to William Smallwood, November 8, 1780. Calendar of 
the General Otho Williams Papers in the Maryland Historical Society. 
(Baltimore: Maryland Historical Records Survey Project, 1940), 27. 

340 The North Carolina Historical Review 

as a site for a winter quarters. 20 Hurrying to Charlotte, 
Greene found the army busily constructing huts against the 
chill of approaching winter. 

In spite of the rumored ill feeling between the two, the 
new commander was received by his predecessor with the 
utmost cordiality and respect. 21 The general orders of Decem- 
ber 3, 1780, carried the news of the transition in command. 
Later in the day, Greene addressed the troops and paid the 
retiring general the compliment of confirming all of his 
standing orders. 22 

Inspecting his army, Greene was appalled by his findings. 
His force was "but the shadow of an army in the midst of 
distress." 23 The army with which he was expected to drive 
the enemy from the South was nothing more than a ragged, 
undisciplined mob, using the exigencies of war as an excuse 
for plundering. The militia, usually considered and used 
as infantry, insisted upon coming out on horseback. Foraging 
for their mounts only added to the privations of the already 
depleted countryside. When the militia were not looting the 
holdings of the inhabitants, they were pillaging each other. 
Officers were openly criticised by their subordinates for their 
conduct of the war, for as Greene remarked, "With the militia 
everybody is a general." 24 

The problem of supplies was even more critical. On the 
day that General Greene assumed the command, Brigadier 
General Daniel Morgan had reported back into camp from 
a foraging expedition which had penetrated South Carolina 

20 Otho Williams, "Narrative of the Campaign of 1780," William Johnson, 
Sketches of the Life and Correspondence of Nathanael Greene, Major Gen- 
eral of the Armies of the United States, in the War of the Revolution, 
2 vols., (Charleston: A. E. Miller, 1822), I, 510. 

21 George Washington Greene claimed the hostility between the two gen- 
erals was the result of the suffering caused both Greene and Washington 
as a consequence of Gates' ambition. There had also been evidence that 
Gates had been rude to Mrs. Greene in the past. Greene, Life of Nathanael 
Greene, III, 373. However, at every stop on the way south, Greene had de- 
fended Gates' action at Camden. Edward Carrington to Gates, November 
27, 1780. Walter Clark (ed.), The State Records of North Carolina, 16 vols. 
(Winston, Goldsboro, 1895-1905), XI, 761-762. 

22 Willams, "Narrative of the Campaign of 1780," Johnson, Sketches of 
the Life and Correspondence of Nathanael Greene, I, 495. 

23 Greene to Abner Nash, December 6, 1780. "Original Letters of General 
Greene," Portfolio, 3d series, I (1813), 203. 

24 Greene to Henry Knox, December 7, 1780. "Original Letters of General 
Greene," Portfolio, 3d series, I (1813), 290-291. 

Cowpens : Prelude to Yorktown 341 

almost to the limits of Camden. He reported that the cattle 
had been driven off, and that there was so little grain that 
it would hardly be worth the trouble of the troops to collect 
it. 25 That night Greene engaged in an all-night discussion 
with Colonel Thomas Polk, Gates' commissary-general, in 
an investigation of the military supplies and resources of the 
neighborhood. 26 It was found that there was a scant three 
days supply of provisions on hand and that ammunition was 
dangerously low. The country around Charlotte had been 
laid waste by the foraging parties of both armies and the 
inhabitants were concealing those cattle that had escaped 
the British army. 27 

Foraging parties had discovered that there were abandoned 
plantations to the south, with fields of corn still untouched. 28 
The methodical Yankee mind of Nathanael Greene rebelled 
at the idea of moving into an unknown situation. Summoning 
Colonel Thaddeus Kosciusko, his engineer, he instructed 
him to locate a camp site on the Pee Dee River, near those 
plantations with particular reference to food, water, trans- 
portation facilities, and avenues of retreat. 29 

While awaiting Kosciusko's return, Greene became ac- 
quainted with his army and attempted to instill a degree of 
discipline into his ragged mob. Numerous letters were dis- 
patched to persons of influence and authority begging for 
aid. His army, in spite of, or perhaps because of, Gates' at- 
tempt at reorganization, was in a ferment of inefficiency. 

^Williams, "Narrative of the Campaign of 1780," Johnson, Sketches of 
the Life and Correspondence of Nathanael Greene, I, 502. 

26 Polk later made the statement that Greene had, on the following morn- 
ing, better understood the situation of the country than had Gates in the 
entire period of his command. Winslow C. Watson (ed.), Men and Times 
of the Revolution; or, Memoirs of Elkanah Watson (New York: Dana 
and Company, 1856), 269. 

27 Charles Stedman, Cornwallis' commissary general states that the 
British army slaughtered 100 head of cattle per day while they were in 
Charlotte. In one day thirty-seven "cows in calf" were butchered. Stedman, 
History of the . . . American War, II, 216-217n. 

28 North Carolina Board of War to Abner Nash, December 25, 1780. 
Clark, State Records of North Carolina, XIV, 481. 

29 Greene to Kosciusko, December 8, 1780. Greene, Life of Nathanael 
Greene, III, 83-84. Kosciusko had applied for a command of light infantry 
troops in the South as early as August, 1780. No command being vacant, 
Washington had offered him the post of engineer in the southern depart- 
ment which he had accepted. Washington to Kosciusko, August 3, 1780. 
Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington, XIV, 316. 

, ■ , 

;'3J?- <\\The North Carolina Historical Review 

Greene determined to mold his ragamuffins into a semblance 
of a fighting force. Despite the shortage of men, one troop 
of Virginia cavalry was sent home, Greene warning Gov- 
ernor Thomas Jefferson not to send them back until they 
were properly clothed and equipped. 30 

Ominous news came from the north. It was now definite 
that the British were going to make the South their main 
theatre of war in the approaching spring. Greene immediately 
called a council of war with Generals William Smallwood and 
Daniel Morgan, with the idea of taking the initiative and 
making a sudden surprise attack upon Cornwallis, then in 
the midst of preparations for invasion at Winnsboro, South 
Carolina. This burst of optimism was opposed by both 
generals as impracticable. 31 

Kosciusko returned from his exploration of the Pee Dee 
with a favorable report, and the army was straightway placed 
under marching orders. Before they could move the rains 
came. As the rain continued to fall, Greene made his first 
major decision as commander of the southern army— he split 
his army. To command the detached segment of his army 
he selected Daniel Morgan, who commanded a legionary 
force which had been created for him by Gates. 32 The strata- 
gem was that Greene was to move the main portion of the 
army to the Pee Dee, while Morgan's detachment was to 
move to the southwest and take a position near the Broad 

30 Greene to Jefferson, December 14, 1780. William P. Palmer and others 
(eds.), Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts, 1652- 
1781, 11 vols. (Richmond: The State, 1876-1893), I, 398. 

31 Greene to Thomas Sumter, December 13, 1780. Year Book: City of 
Charleston, S. C, 1899 (Charleston: Lucas and Richardson, 1899), 71-72. 

82 Congress had ordered Morgan south as early as June 16, 1780. Ford, 
Journals of the Continental Congress, XVII, 519. The temperamental rifle- 
man had refused to serve under Gates, believing that he had not been 
given due credit by Gates for his part in the victory at Saratoga. Morgan 
had sulked in his home in Virginia until after the Camden disaster. He 
had then thrown prejudice aside and hurried south to offer his services. 
Gates had welcomed the prodigal with open arms, and out of the remains 
of his army had created for Morgan a special corps, composed of four 
companies of infantry and one company of riflemen under the command of 
Lieutenant Colonel John Eager Howard of Maryland. The remains of two 
regiments of cavalry had been united under Lieutenant Colonel William 
Washington. George Bancroft, History of the United States Since the Dis- 
covery of the Continent, 10 vols. (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1896), 
V, 477. Gates had been instrumental in securing Morgan's promotion to 
Brigadier General, October 13, 1780. Ford, Journals of the Continental 
Congress, XVIII, 921. 

Daniel Morgan (1736-1802) 

In the uniform of his Virginia rifle company which he led to Boston and 
Quebec in 1775. 

Cowpens : Prelude to Yorktown 343 

River. 33 In his instructions Morgan was told that his mission 
was to give protection to that section of South Carolina and 
"spirit up the people." The enemy was to be annoyed wher- 
ever possible, and provisions and forage were to be collect- 
ed and moved out of the path of the British Army. In the 
event of a move against Greene, Morgan was to harass the 
flank on the rear of the enemy. As he was moving into an 
area marked by the strife of civil war, he was to restrain his 
men from plundering and a receipt should be given for all 
supplies taken from the inhabitants. 34 This move effectively 
blocked the British from drawing supplies from the upper 
part of the state, and Greene hoped that Morgan would be 
able to establish a number of small magazines which would 
provide a haven if the American army were forced to retreat 
from the Pee Dee. 35 If Morgan were attacked, there was a 
large area in which to conduct a strategic withdrawal, and 
if Cornwallis attacked in force, Charleston would be open 
to attack by Greene. If Cornwallis attempted a conquest of 
North Carolina between the two forces, the militia of Meck- 
lenburg and Rowan counties, which Cornwallis later termed 
"one of the most rebellious tracts in America," 86 could possi- 
bly slow his progress, while Greene and Morgan hammered 
at his flanks. In the event of the failure of this scheme, and 
should Cornwallis successfully run the gauntlet, Greene and 
Morgan could confine him to a narrow corridor with Greene 
and the main army of the Americans keeping between the 
British and the seacoast and supplies separating them from 
their loyal adherents in the lowlands. With all factors taken 
into consideration, this decision to split his army was the 
greatest, and had the most far reaching results of any made 

33 This operation may possibly have been the result of counsel by Briga- 
dier General William Davidson, who had advanced, before Greene's ar- 
rival, a similar plan to detach Morgan's corps to the west. Davidson to 
Alexander Martin, November 27, 1780. Clark, The State Records of 
North Carolina, XIV, 759. 

^Greene to Morgan, December 16, 1780. Theodorus Bailey Myers (ed.), 
Cowpens Papers, Being Correspondence of General Morgan and the Promi- 
nent Actors (Charleston: The News and Courier Book Presses, 1881), 9-10. 

35 Greene to Washington, December 28, 1780. Sparks, Correspondence of 
the American Revolution, III, 189-191. 

36 Cornwallis to Lord George Germain, March 17, 1781. Charles Ross (ed.), 
Correspondence of Charles, First Marquis Cornwallis (London: John Mur- 
ray, 1859), I, 503. 

344 The North Carolina Historical Review 

by Greene during the entire period of his command of the 
southern army. By this decision Nathanael Greene shaped 
his own destiny— and initiated a series of chain reactions 
which terminated in the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. 

The basic unit of Morgan's detachment was to be his 
legionary force. It was composed of about 400 of the Mary- 
land Line and two companies of Virginians, under the com- 
mand of John Eager Howard, with a cavalry support of 
100 dragoons led by Lieutenant Colonel William A. Wash- 
ington. 37 This force was to be augmented by militia units 
from North Carolina under the command of Brigadier Gen- 
eral William Lee Davidson and other groups from South 
Carolina and Georgia. 38 

On Wednesday, December 20, Greene left Charlotte and 
marched his army to the banks of the Pee Dee and there 
established a "camp of repose" on the high ground across 
the river from the tiny village of Chatham. 39 On the follow- 
ing day Morgan moved out. By sunset he had reached Big- 
gin's Ferry on the Catawba River, fifteen miles away. 40 The 
passage of the river was completed on December 22, and 
the next four days were spent marching across rough and 
torturous terrain. On Christmas day he had crossed the 
Broad River and had established his camp on the north bank 
of the Pacolet. The march from Charlotte had totalled fifty- 
seven miles. 41 Here Morgan rested. 

These troop movements had not *gone unnoticed by the 
British. Morgan's presence on their flank presented a grave 
problem. Lord Cornwallis' original blueprint of invasion had 

37 William Augustine Washington was the son of Bailey Washington of 
Stafford, Virginia, and a kinsman of George Washington. He had served 
in the South as a leader of cavalry under both Lincoln and Gates. He 
served with distinction under Greene until the battle of Eutaw Springs, 
September 8, 1781. In this engagement he was captured and remained a 
prisoner of the British until the end of the war. Myers, Cowpens Papers, 

38 Greene to Morgan, December 16, 1780. Myers, Cowpens Papers, 9-10. 

39 Chatham became the present day town of Cheraw, South Carolina. As 
late as 1867 evidences of Greene's camp could still be distinguished. Alex- 
ander Gregg, History of the Old Cheraws (New York: Richardson and Co., 
1867), 352. 

40 Robert Kirkwood, The Journal and Order Book of Captain Robert 
Kirkwood of the Delaware Regiment of the Continental Line, edited by 
Joseph Brown Turner (Wilmington: The Historical Society of Delaware, 
1910), 13. Hereafter cited as Kirkwood, Journal. 

41 Kirkwood, Journal, 13. 

Banastre Tarleton (1754-1833) 
Painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds in 1782. 

Cowpens : Prelude to Yorktown 345 

been to drive through North Carolina in three columns. 
Major James Craig was sent up the coast with a detachment 
of 400 men to secure Wilmington as a means of insuring 
the control of the Cape Fear as a supply route. The left 
flank, towards the mountains, was to be under the command 
of Major Patrick Ferguson, who was to collect loyalists as 
he marched. The main column under Cornwallis was to drive 
up the center in the avenue formed by these flanking parties. 42 

After the victory over Gates at Camden, the British army 
moved north to Charlotte, "an agreeable village, but in a 
d— d rebellious country." 43 The news that had come out of 
the west that Ferguson had been killed and his army routed 
at King's Mountain on October 7, wrecked all the carefully 
laid plans. Charlotte became untenable, and the British fell 
back to Winnsboro to regroup. A dispatch to Sir Henry Clin- 
ton requested that the troops of Major General Alexander 
Leslie, then in Portsmouth, Virginia, be transferred to South 
Carolina as reinforcements. 44 This request had been granted 
and the transports conveying Leslie and his men had dropped 
anchor in Charleston harbor on December 14. Cornwallis 
busied himself with last minute details as Leslie marched 
inland from the sea. 

Among Cornwallis' subordinate officers was an arrogant 
young lieutenant colonel— Banastre Tarleton, a favorite of the 
British general. 45 The Whig inhabitants of South Carolina 

42 Cornwallis to Lord George Germain, March 17, 1781. Ross (ed.), The 
Correspondence of Charles, First Marquis Cornwallis, I, 503. 

43 New Jersey Gazette, January 31, 1781, quoting an aide to Cornwallis. 
Frank Moore (ed.), The Diary of the American Revolution: From News- 
papers and Original Documents, 2 vols. (New York: Charles T. Evans, 
1863), II, 352. 

44 Lord Rawdon to Clinton, October 29, 1781. Benjamin Franklin Stevens 
(ed.), Clinton-Cornwallis Controversy Growing Out of the Campaign in 
Virginia, 1781, 2 vols. (London: John Lawe, 1910), I, 63-64. 

^Banastre Tarleton (1754-1833) had purchased a cornetcy of dragoons 
and, at the outbreak of hostilities, had obtained leave to come to America. 
He had previously served under Howe and Clinton, and had commanded 
the advance guard which had captured General Charles Lee in New Jersey, 
December, 1776. He surrendered with Cornwallis at Yorktown. Upon his 
return to England he was elected to the Parliament as a member from Liver- 
pool. In 1812 he was promoted to general and created a baronet. As a mem- 
ber of Parliament he considered himself a military expert, which he demon- 
strated by criticizing the campaigns of the Duke of Wellington on the floor 
of the House of Commons. R. H. Vetch, "Sir Banastre Tarleton," Diction- 
ary of National Biography, edited by Sidney Lee and Leslie Stephens 
(London: Smith Elder and Company, 1885-1900), LV, 364-369. 

346 The North Carolina Historical Review 

reserved their special hatred for this ruthless young officer. 
His raids through the countryside had earned him the epi- 
thets of "the Red Raider" and "Bloody Tarleton." His useless 
slaughter of the troops of Colonel Abraham Buford as they 
were begging for quarter 46 had made the term, "Tarleton's 
Quarters," synonymous with bloodshed and cruelty. The 
brutality of his corps in defeating General Huger's troops 
in the engagement at Biggin's Bridge, April 12, 1780, had 
so enraged Major Patrick Ferguson that he had to be forci- 
bly restrained from shooting several of Tarleton' s dragoons 
on the spot. 47 Tarleton is reported to have expressed the 
opinion, "that severity alone could effect the establishment 
of regal authority in America," and his actions certainly im- 
plied that he could have been the author of such a state- 
ment. 48 His corps, the British Legion, was one of the most 
disliked in the British army. 49 

On December 26 a Loyalist refugee reported from Char- 
lotte that Greene had marched towards the Pee Dee and 
that Morgan had crossed the Catawba. 50 The news was con- 
firmed on December 30. 51 This movement presented a threat 
to the British post at Ninety Six, the westernmost British 
fort in South Carolina. Ninety Six was situated in an area 

46 In the Waxhaws, May 24, 1780, as they were fleeing after the capitula- 
tion of Charleston. 

47 Sir John Fortescue, A History of the British Army, 13 vols. (London: 
Macmillan and Company, Limited, 1911), III, 309. 

48 Alexander Garden, Anecdotes of the American Revolution, Illustrative 
of the Talents and Virtues of the Heroes of the Revolution, Who Acted the 
Most Conspicuous Parts Therein, 3 vols. (Brooklyn: "The Union" Press, 
1865), II, 269. 

49 This unit was originally raised in Philadelphia by Sir William Cathcart 
in 1778, and was composed of loyalists. They were first known as the Cale- 
donian Volunteers, but this organizational title was later changed to the 
British Legion. The corps included both infantry and cavalry. They wore 
a uniform of green with light green facings. This organization surrendered 
at Yorktown with 24 officers and 209 enlisted men. John W. Wright, "Some 
Notes on the Continental Army," William and Mary Quarterly, 2d series, XI 
(July, 1931), 201. One troop of regulars from the 17th Light Dragoons was 
attached to the Legion, "who seemed to hold the irregulars in contempt, 
since they refused to wear the green uniforms of the Legion, but stuck to 
their own scarlet." Fortescue, History of the British Army, III, 309n. 

50 Cornwallis to Tarleton, December 26, 1780. Banastre Tarleton, A His- 
tory of the Campaigns of 1780 and 1781 in the Southern Provinces of North 
America (London: T. Cadell, 1787), 243. Hereafter cited as Tarleton, 

61 Cornwallis to Tarleton, December 30, 1780. Tarleton, Campaigns, 

Cowpens : Prelude to Yorktown 347 

predominantly Tory in sentiment, and the garrison was 
needed for their protection. Morgan must either be eliminated 
or driven from the district before the campaign into North 
Carolina could be launched. On January first Cornwallis 
ordered Tarleton, with the British Legion reinforced by the 
First Battalion of the 71st Regiment, to cross the Broad River 
and push Morgan "to the utmost," and urged haste as "no 
time is to be lost." 52 

Morgan still rested on the Pacolet. Greene had directed 
militia leaders to join Morgan with their troops as soon as 
possible. The response had been slow. General Davidson 
was experiencing difficulty in raising his North Carolina 
militia because of Indian uprisings on the frontier, but he 
had written confidently that he would soon join Morgan 
with a thousand men. 53 On December 28, Davidson had ar- 
rived with only 120 men, but he immediately returned to 
North Carolina for at least 500 men who he claimed were 
being embodied at Salisbury. Colonel Andrew Pickens came 
into camp with sixty South Carolina militia. 54 Small groups 
also drifted in, many of whom had banded together to 
plunder the Tories and had come into Morgan's camp for 
protection. 55 On December 27, Morgan received a false re- 
port that the British were on his trail. He had speedily placed 
strong pickets on the perimeter and had established a defen- 
sive encampment. Officers were instructed to conduct roll 

62 Cornwallis to Tarleton, January 2, 1781. Tarleton, Campaigns, 244-245. 

53 Davidson to Morgan, December 14,^ 1780. James Graham, The Life of 
General Daniel Morgan, of the Virginia Line of the Army of the United 
States, with Portions of his Correspondence: Compiled from Authentic 
Sources (New York: Derby and Jackson, 1858), 263-264. Hereafter cited 
as Graham, Morgan. 

54 Andrew Pickens was risking death in the event of capture by the 
British. He had formerly been captured and paroled by them. He had ob- 
served the conditions of his parole until his home was plundered by a band 
of Tory raiders. These men had placed a noose around the neck of Pickens' 
son and had threatened to hang- the lad unless the hiding place of valuables 
was divulged. Pickens had considered this a violation of his parole and 
had sent his family across the mountains for safekeeping, then had notified 
the British of his actions and rejoined the patriot forces. Edward McGrady, 
The History of South Carolina in the Revolution, 1780-1781 (New York: 
Macmillan and Company, 1902) , 18-22. 

55 James F. Collins, Autobiography of a Revolutionary Soldier, edited by 
John M. Roberts (Clinton [Louisiana!: Felicana Democrat, Print., 
1869), 56. Hereafter cited as Collins, Autobiography. 

348 The North Carolina Historical Review 

calls every two hours and all absentees were to be reported 
immediately. 56 

On the same day a patrol reported that a body of about 
350 Tories, under the leadership of a Colonel Waters, had 
advanced into the district to the vicinity of "Fair Forest," 
about twenty miles from Morgan, where they "were plunder- 
ing and insulting the good people of the neighborhood." 57 
Morgan resolved to destroy this group before they had the 
opportunity to make a junction with the British army. With- 
in two days 200 mounted militia had been added to William 
Washington's dragoons and were sent to dispose of the in- 
vaders. As Washington's detachment advanced the Tories 
retreated twenty miles back to a place known as Hammond's 
Store. 58 There with Cornwallis on their right flank and their 
left protected by Ninety Six, they felt reasonably safe. After 
a pursuit of forty miles, Washington reached the vicinity of 
Hammond's around noon of December 30. Colonel Waters 
had drawn up his Tories in a battle line across the crest of 
a slope. To reach the position, Washington's troops would 
have to descend a long incline and then charge up a hill. 
As they approached the site, they captured several of the 
Tory pickets, who revealed the disposition of the enemy 
troops. Arriving opposite the enemy position, Washington 
deployed his forces. The mounted militia, with their rifles, 
were placed on the flanks to provide a covering fire, while 
the dragoons were located in the center. At the command, 
the militia fired, and the cavalry, shouting and drawing their 
sabres, charged across the ravine. The terrified Tories fled 
precipitately through the trees without firing a shot, only 
to be ridden down by the horses or struck down by a dra- 
goon's sword. 59 One hundred and fifty were killed and forty 
taken prisoner. Washington did not lose a man. Booty col- 
lected after the skirmish included forty horses and some bag- 

59 William Seymour, A Journal of the Southern Expedition, 1780-1781 
(Wilmington: The Historical Society of Delaware, 1896), 12. Hereafter 
cited as Seymour, Journal. 

57 Morgan to Greene, December 31, 1781. Graham, Morgan, 267. 

58 Hammond's Store was near the present day site of Abbeville, South 

C9 William C. Edwards (ed.), "Memoirs of Major Thomas Young," The 
Orion: A Monthly Magazine of Literature and Art, III (October, 1843), 87. 

Cowpens : Prelude to Yorktown 349 

gage. 60 A small detachment was dispatched to pursue the 
fleeing Tories and, if practicable, to surprise the loyalist 
stronghold at Williams' plantation, about fifteen miles from 
Ninety Six. This stratagem was frustrated when the post was 
notified of the defeat by the fleeing refugees and the garrison 
joined the flight and scurried to the protection afforded by 
the fort at Ninety Six. The fortifications at the plantation 
were destroyed as were the supplies that could not be car- 
ried away. As the victorious group was returning they met 
a force of 200 men sent by Morgan to cover their return. 61 
This foray led to cries of dismay from the loyalists of the 
district and influenced Cornwallis' decision that Morgan 
must be destroyed before any campaign could be originated. 
In the short interval of Washington's absence, Morgan's 
little army had been increasing rapidly, but it soon developed 
that the sudden growth was restricting operations. The multi- 
plying number of men and mounts were draining the area 
of its resources. Provisions and forage were becoming in- 
creasingly scarce. Morgan was also becoming aware of his 
isolated position. A communication was dispatched to Greene 
suggesting that the army on the Pee Dee create a diversion 
while Morgan's troops swung down into Georgia to harass 
and attack British posts in that sector. 62 While awaiting ap- 
proval of this scheme, Morgan constantly shifted his troops 
in an attempt to make the most of the limited supplies. An 
effort was made to instill discipline into the new recruits by 
forcing them to witness the execution of malefactors. One 
of the Tories taken prisoner by Washington was court-mar- 
tialed, convicted and hanged on the charge of desertion to 
the enemy and acting as a guide for Indians raiding the out- 
posts of the American army. 63 Several days later a deserter 
from Washington's corps was captured, found guilty, and 
shot, all in the same day. 64 

60 John Rutledge to the Delegates of South Carolina in Congress, January 
10, 1781. John W. Barnwell (ed.), "Letters of John Rutledge," South Caro- 
lina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, XVIII (February, 1917), 65. 

61 Morgan to Greene, January 4, 1781. Myers, Cowpens Papers, 16. 

62 Morgan to Greene, January 4, 1781. Myers, Cowpens Papers, 16. 

63 Seymour, Journal, 12. 

64 Seymour, Journal, 13. 

350 The North Carolina Historical Review 

A message arrived from Greene, but it had been dispatched 
before the receipt of Morgan's request for approval of the 
Georgia expedition. General Morgan was advised of the 
recent arrival of Leslie's troops and was warned that the 
British would likely attempt to give him a "stroke." Greene 
suggested that persons who would be unsuspected by the 
enemy be stationed twenty or thirty miles from camp to ob- 
serve and report on the movements of the British army, for 
"The Militia, you know, are always unsuspicious and there- 
fore are the more easily surprized. Don't depend too much 
on them." Then, as if recalling Gates' scattered army after 
the battle of Camden, he cautioned Morgan to select and 
inform his officers of a rendezvous in the event that he were 
attacked and defeated. 65 

Another communication from Greene soon arrived in re- 
sponse to Morgan's proposal for a southern expedition. The 
message was disappointing as the suggestion was vetoed. 
Greene explained that the British controlled nothing of 
value in Georgia except their forts, to which they would re- 
tire and pay little or no attention to him. Such a move would 
result only in removing the services of Morgan's detachment 
from the southern army, which would then be vulnerable 
to attack by the British. It was suggested that small details 
be dispatched to cut the supply lines to Ninety Six and 
Augusta. An attack upon Ninety Six, Augusta, or even Sa- 
vannah was approved if such an offensive action could be 
conducted with the element of surprise. As another antidote 
to the restlessness of Morgan, Greene recommended that 
small units be detached with the mission of destroying the 
draught horses of the enemy and waylaying British recruiting 
parties. A hundred expert riflemen under Colonel William 
Campbell had been ordered to report to the camp on the 
Pacolet. The action at Hammond's Store had emphasized the 
value of Washington's dragoons. Morgan was requested "to 
have Col. Washington's horse kept in as good order as pos- 
sible and let the Militia do the foraging duty. We may want 

65 Greene to Morgan, January 3, 1781. Greene Letter Book, 1781, New 
York Public Library, New York, New York, 19-20. 

Cowpens : Prelude to Yorktown 351 

a body of heavy cavalry, and if they are broke down we shall 
have nothing to depend upon." 66 

Word was received that Tarleton was near Ninety Six and 
that his movements indicated a thrust at Morgan. This was 
followed by a warning from Greene who expressed a note of 
confidence in Morgan's ability to deal with the situation as 
he said, "Col. Tarleton is said to be on his way to pay you a 
visit. I doubt not he will have a decent reception and a proper 


Spies and deserters delivered alarming reports. Tarleton 
had been joined by reinforcements, had crossed the Tiger 
River and was pressing the pursuit. Morgan's army continued 
to increase as militia units supplemented his basic group, but 
they only accentuated the critical supply problem. The 
straggling militia destroyed the cohesiveness and efficiency 
of the detachment, and they were plundering the inhabitants 
when the opportunity presented itself. As the enemy ap- 
proached and he surveyed his position, Morgan became un- 
easy and dissatisfied. He requested General Greene to recall 
his troops, leaving the militia in the district under the com- 
mand of General Davidson and Colonel Pickens. It was his 
opinion that if only the militia were left in the area, Corn- 
wallis would consider them of such little importance that 
Tarleton would be recalled. The militia would be just as 
effective in keeping the disaffected in their places as his 
detachment could. His troops were trained for combat, not 
police action. 68 Greene's answer, although it did not arrive 
until after the ensuing engagement, still insisted that Morgan 
and his troops remain in the district. 69 

The day after Morgan had dispatched this last request, the 
details left to guard the fords on the Pacolet came into camp. 
Tarleton had crossed the river and was even then close on 
their heels. It was now obvious that Morgan, with his 
straggling militia, could retreat no farther. He was, however, 
determined to choose the battle site. Early on the morning of 

66 Greene to Morgan, January 8, 1781. Greene Letter Book, 1781, 51-52. 

67 Greene to Morgan, January 13, 1781. Greene Letter Book, 1781, 63-64. 

68 Morgan to Greene, January 13, 1781. Graham, Morgan, 286. 

69 Greene to Morgan, January 19, 1781. Greene Letter Book, 1781, 92-94. 

352 The North Carolina Historical Review 

January 16, forcing many of his men to leave their food cook- 
ing, he marched his men toward the Broad River. 70 

Tarleton had been ordered in pursuit of Morgan on January 
first. The tidings of Hammond's Store and William's Planta- 
tion had implied an American thrust at Ninety Six. Upon 
Tarleton's arrival at that place, he had found the post 
unmolested and was under no immediate danger of assault. 
He had taken the opportunity to rest his troops and had 
issued orders "to bring up my baggage, but no women." He 
reported the situation to his commander and requested that 
he be allowed to attack and destroy Morgan. He suggested 
to Cornwallis that the main army move towards King's 
Mountain as a block to Morgan's retreat if he refused to 
fight and was driven back across the Broad River. 71 As Tarle- 
ton awaited approval of this plan of operation, Lieutenant 
Colonel Allen, commandant at Ninety Six, offered to reinforce 
him with troops from his garrison. Tarleton refused. 72 

Dispatches from his commanding officer contained en- 
couragement and approval of the plan of his subordinate. 
Cornwallis endorsed Tarleton's strategy and commented, 
"You have exactly done what I wished you to do, and under- 
stood my intentions perfectly." He also informed Tarleton 
that his baggage was being escorted by the 7th Regiment, 
which was to reinforce the garrison at Ninety Six. 73 With this 
expression of confidence in his ability by his superior, Tarle- 
ton initiated a series of rapid marches in pursuit of Morgan. 
His movements for the first few days were limited, to allow 
the time necessary for Leslie to make a junction with Corn- 
wallis. Reports indicated that the militia were flocking to 
Morgan. To counterbalance this additional strength of his 
opponent, Tarleton requested and received permission to at- 
tach the 7th Regiment and their three-pounder to his com- 
mand. 74 On the fourteenth Cornwallis wrote, "Leslie is at 

70 Stedman, History of the . . . American War, II, 320. 

71 Tarleton to Cornwallis, January 4, 1781. Tarleton, Campaigns, 246. 

72 Roderick Mackenzie, Strictures on Lt. Col. Tarleton's "History of the 
Campaigns of 1780 and 1781, in the Southern Provinces of North America," 
(London: Printed for the author, 1787), 92. Hereafter cited as Mackenzie, 
Strictures. Mackenzie was a lieutenant in the 71st Regiment and was wound- 
ed at Cowpens. 

73 Cornwallis to Tarleton, January 5, 1781. Tarleton, Campaigns, 246-247. 

74 Tarleton, Campaigns, 212. 

Cowpens : Prelude to Yorktown 353 

last out of the swamps," 75 and the tempo of the pursuit quick- 
ened. Morgan was now only six miles away. Tarleton 
planned to use log houses, previously constructed by Major 
Patrick Ferguson, as a base from which to observe Morgan 
and wait for him to make a decisive move. Before he could 
establish himself in this position, patrols reported that the 
Americans had decamped in such haste that half cooked food 
was still simmering over dying fires. Morgan's vacated posi- 
tion offered promising possibilities for provisions and forage 
and Tarleton accordingly marched his troops to this location. 76 

Small detachments were ordered to follow closely upon 
Morgan's line of march. A party of Tories brought in an Amer- 
ican militia colonel who had been capture when he wander- 
ed too far from his troops. From interrogation of this prisoner 
and the reports of patrols, it was determined that the enemy 
was marching in the direction of the Broad River and 
Thicketty Mountain. There was also evidence that additional 
reinforcements of militia were on the march to join Morgan. 77 
To insure the success of his operation, Tarleton felt that he 
must strike before these new troops united with his opponent. 
He planned an immediate action. 

The following morning, January 17, the troops were awak- 
ened at three o'clock in the morning and marched toward 
Morgan's last reported position, with the baggage and its 
guard to take its position at daybreak. Tarleton planned 
either to surprise Morgan or force him to fight before he had 
the opportunity to deploy his troops properly. Approaching 
the American camp, two videttes were captured 78 and they 
revealed that Morgan had halted and had decided to make a 
stand at a place called the Cowpens. 79 Tarleton was jubilant 

75 Cornwallis to Tarleton, January 14, 1781. Tarleton, Campaigns, 248. 

76 Tarleton, Campaigns, 213-214. 

77 Tarleton, Campaigns, 214. 

78 Mackenzie, Strictures, 97. Videttes were mounted pickets. 

79 Stock raisers comprised a large portion of the population of upper 
South Carolina. Pens were erected for the purposes of marking and salting 
the cattle, although at this time any grazing area was normally designated 
as a cowpen. The site selected for the battle had first been located on a 
Cherokee trading path and was known locally as "Hannah's Cowpens" from 
its owner. See Johnson, Sketches of the Life and Correspondence of Na- 
thanael Greene, I, 377; Benjamin F. Perry, Revolutionary Incidents, No. 11, 
Benjamin F. Perry papers, Southern Historical Collection, Chapel Hill, 
North Carolina; J. B. C Landrum, Colonial and Revolutionary History 
of Upper South Carolina (Greenville: Shannon and Co., 1897), 19. 

354 The North Carolina Historical Review 

as the prisoners and his guides described the site. Open woods 
offered unlimited opportunity for cavalry maneuvers. Morgan 
would be forced to leave his flanks exposed as there were no 
physical irregularities into which to tie the extremities of his 
battle line. The Broad River ran parallel to his rear line, 
eliminating any possibility of flight. Without delay Tarleton 
moved up within sight of the American forces and began to 
deploy his troops, confident that the day was as good as won. 80 

A plausible supposition is that Morgan planned to cross the 
Broad River and fight in the vicinity of Thicketty Mountain, 
where the terrain could be better adapted to his style of com- 
bat. When he had arrived on the banks of the Broad, he had 
found that stream swollen and deep because of the recent 
rains. 81 To attempt a passage would possibly have allowed 
Tarleton to come up while his troops were still engaged in 
fording the river, an event which could only result in disaster 
for his little army. 

Military men have long made a practice of criticising 
Morgan's choice of a battle site and Tarleton himself stated: 

The ground which General Morgan had chosen for the en- 
gagement . . . was disadvantageous to the Americans, and con- 
venient for the British. An open wood was certainly as good 
a place for action as Lieutenant Colonel Tarleton could desire; 
America does not produce many more suitable to the nature of 
the troops under his command. 82 

The position selected for the American stand was at the 
summit of a long, gently sloping ridge, covered with an open 
woods facilitating cavalry operations. The Broad River at the 
rear discouraged all thoughts of retreat and Morgan's exposed 
flanks invited encirclement. It was a situation designed to 
grant victory to the army with the best cavalry, and Tarleton's 
British Legion was generally acknowledged to be one of the 

80 Tarleton, Campaigns, 215. 

81 Robert Smith to James Iredell, January 31, 1781. Griffith J. McRee, 
Life and Correspondence of James Iredell, One of the Associate Justices of 
the Supreme Court of the United States, 2 vols. (New York: D. Appleton 
and Co., 1837), I, 483. 

82 Tarleton, Campaigns, 221. Henry Lee made the oft disputed statement 
that Morgan's decision to fight grew out of an "irritation of temper." Lee, 
Memoirs, 226. 

Cowpens : Prelude to Yorktown 355 

best cavalry units in America. Morgan, in later years, de- 
fended his choice with the statement: 

I would not have had a swamp in view of my militia on any 
consideration; they would have made for it, and nothing could 
have detained them from it. And as to covering my wings, I 
knew my adversary and was perfectly sure I should have noth- 
ing but downright fighting. As to retreat, it was the very thing 
that I wished to cut off all hope of. I would have thanked Tarle- 
ton had he surrounded me with his cavalry. It would have been 
better than placing my own men in the rear to shoot down 
those who broke from the ranks. When men are forced to fight, 
they will sell their lives dearly; and I knew the dread of Tarle- 
ton's cavalry would give due weight to the protection of my 
bayonets, and keep my troops from breaking up as Buford's 
regiment did. Had I crossed the river, one-half of the militia 
would immediately have abandoned me. 83 

Morgan's army had arrived at the Cowpens near sunset 
of January 16, and he had addressed the troops and revealed 
his determination to stand and fight. The men cheered. 
Throughout the course of the day's march he had been cursed 
heartily by many of the troops who had felt that the retreat 
had been a display of cowardice. 84 Two colonels, Brandon 
and Roebuck, rode in and reported that they had counted 
Tarleton's forces as they crossed the Pacolet and that the 
enemy numbered approximately 1,150 men. As soon as the 
men were settled, preparations for battle were initiated. 
Orders were issued that the militia have twenty-four rounds 
of ammunition ready for use before they slept. 85 The sign and 
countersign for the night, "Fire" and "Sword" were designed 
to stimulate slackening spirits. 8U The first action taken by 
Morgan to strengthen his forces was the addition of forty- 
five volunteers to Washington's corps as a measure to more 
nearly equal, numerically, Tarleton's cavalry. Patrols and 

83 Morgan quoted in Johnson, Life and Correspondence of Nathanael 
Greene, I, 376. 

84 Edwards, "Memoirs of Major Thomas Young," The Orion, III, 88. 

85 Colonel Samuel Hammond, in Joseph Johnson, Traditions and Remi- 
niscences Chiefly of the American Revolution in the South: Including Bio- 
graphical Sketches, Incidents and Anecdotes. Few of Which Have Been 
Published, Particularly of Residents in the Upper Country (Charleston: 
Walker and James, 1851), 527. 

86 A. L. Pickens, Skyagunsta, the Border Wizard Owl: General Andrew 
Pickens (Greenville: Observer Printing Co., 1934), 68. 

356 The North Carolina Historical Review 

scouts were sent out with orders to observe the enemy's 
movements. Baggage was sent back to the Broad River and 
messengers dispatched to the bodies of militia reported to 
be coming in, urging them to accelerate their pace. 87 Pickens 
brought in a body of new recruits. Other groups hurried in, 
calling for ammunition, and wanting to know the state of 
affairs. One officer commented, "They were all in good spirits, 
related circumstances of Tarleton's cruelty, and expressed 
the strongest desire to check his progress." 88 After a council 
of war with the officers Morgan went among the campfires 
and mingled with his men, aiding his recently created cavalry 
to become acquainted with their newly acquired sabres. He 
passed from group to group, laughing with the men and 
"telling them that the old wagoner would crack his whip 
over Ben [Tarleton] in the morning as sure as they lived." 89 
To the militia he said, "J us ^ h°icl up your heads, boys, three 
fires, and you are free, and then when you return to your 
homes, how the old folks will bless you, and the girls kiss 
you, for your gallant conduct." 90 

The next morning, January 17, a scout reported that Tarle- 
ton was only five miles away and was marching light and 
fast. 91 Morgan's shout of "Boys, get up, Benny is coming," 
awakened the men. 92 The day dawned bright and bitter cold, 
but the troops were already being placed in position. They 
were all in good spirits and apparently looking forward to 
the approaching battle. 93 

The battle ground was slightly undulating with a thick 
growth of red oak, hickory and pine. Because of the grazing 
cattle, there was little undergrowth. 94 At the crest of the long 
slope Morgan placed his main line of defense, composed of 

87 Graham, Morgan, 291-292. 

88 John Eager Howard quoted in Lee, Memoirs, 226n. 

89 Edwards, "Memoir of Major Thomas Young," The Orion, III, 89. 
Morgan was often referred to as the "old wagoner" because of his earlier 
occupation. He had hauled supplies for Braddock's troops in the French and 
Indian War. Graham, Morgan, 22-28. 

90 Edwards, "Memoirs of Major Thomas Young," The Orion, III, 89. 

91 Morgan to Greene, January 19, 1781. Graham, Morgan, 468. 

02 "Memoir of Thomas McJunkin of Union," The Magnolia: Or Southern 
Appalachian, II (January, 1843), 38. 

93 Seymour, Journal, 13. 

04 Colonel Samuel Hammond in Johnson, Traditions and Reminiscences, 


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358 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the Maryland Line, a skeleton company of Delaware Con- 
tinentals, and two companies of Virginia militia under Major 
Triplett and Captain Tate. 95 Beatty's Georgians covered the 
right flank. This line of 437 men was under the command 
of Lieutenant Colonel John Eager Howard. Approximately 
150 yards down the slope were the volunteers of North Caro- 
lina, South Carolina and Georgia, about 270 men under the 
"brave and valuable" Colonel Pickens. A skirmish line of 150 
men was posted 150 yards in front of Pickens' second line. 
The right segment of this line was composed of Major Joseph 
McDowell's North Carolina back-country riflemen, while 
Major Cunningham's Georgia volunteers were posted on the 
left. Colonel Washington's dragoons were stationed behind 
the main line, out of the line of fire, but still in such a posi- 
tion as to guard the horses of the militia and act in support. 96 

Before the appearance of the enemy, Morgan went forward 
and spoke to the men then placing themselves on the skirmish 
line. He indicated that the time had come to prove whether 
they were entitled to their reputation as brave men and good 
shots. "Let me see," said Morgan, as he turned to leave, 
"which are entitled to the credit of brave men, the boys of 
Carolina or those of Georgia." 97 

Riding back to the second line he addressed the militia 
commanded by Pickens. His speech rang with optimism and 
was calculated to fire enthusiasm. He confidently assured 
them that they would display their usual zeal and bravery 
and maintain the reputation they had gained when he had 
led them. He pointed out that he had experienced success 
in dealing with British troops and that his experience was 
superior to theirs. He exhorted them to remain firm and 
steady, to fire with careful aim, and if they would but pour 
in two volleys at killing distance, he would take it upon 
himself to insure the victory. 98 Morgan's opinion of militia 
was actually similar to that held by Greene, but he did recog- 
nize their value as shock troops. 

95 These Virginia troops were above the average militia for they were, 
for the most part, continental soldiers who had been discharged and were 
now serving as paid substitutes for wealthier men. Lee, Memoirs, 254-255. 

96 Morgan to Greene, January 19, 1781. Graham, Morgan, 468. 

97 Graham, Morgan, 297. 

98 Lee, Memoirs, 227. 

Cowpens : Prelude to Yorktown 359 

As Morgan rode back to the main line, Pickens told his 
militia, "Ease your joints." He then told them that they could 
shelter themselves behind trees, but they were not to fire 
until the enemy was within thirty yards of their position. 
He cautioned them to fire low and aim at the officers." 

After leaving the militia Morgan addressed the main line 
of seasoned veterans. He spoke briefly and quietly, remind- 
ing them that he had always placed confidence in their skill 
and courage, and he assured them that victory was certain 
if they did their part. They were also warned not to become 
alarmed at a sudden retreat by the militia as that eventuality 
was included in his plan of action. At the conclusion of this 
short talk, he assumed his post and quietly sat his horse, 
awaiting the appearance of the enemy. 100 

The British troops came into view at approximately eight 
o'clock. Tarleton, prematurely imagining the laurels of vic- 
tory upon his brow, immediately deployed his fatigued com- 
mand about 300 yards in front of the American skirmish line. 
No time was allotted by Tarleton for a reconnaissance or a 
conference with his subordinates. The rank and file were 
ordered to discard all gear and accoutrements except their 
arms and ammunition. The Light Infantry, the Legion In- 
fantry, and the 7th Regiment formed the line of battle. To 
protect their flanks and threaten those of the Americans, 
fifty dragoons under the command of a captain were placed 
on each extremity. The 71st Regiment, with the remaining 
dragoons was held in reserve 180 yards to the rear. The two 
cannon were placed in the center of the battle line. 101 The 
Americans, with no artillery to annoy the enemy could only 
watch with awe the precision with which the British swung 
into position. 102 As the attacking troops were extended they 
were subjected to sporadic rifle fire from small groups which 
had been sent out from the skirmish line. The nervous re- 
cruits of the 7th Regiment returned a scattered fire, but their 
uneasiness was soon calmed by British officers. 103 

"Pickens, Skyagunsta, The Border Wizard Owl, 70-71. 
*» Lee, Memoirs, 227-228. 

101 Tarleton, Campaigns, 216. 

102 Thomas Anderson, "Journal of Lieutenant Thomas Anderson of the 
Delaware Regiment," Historical Magazine, 2d series, I (April, 1867), 209. 

108 Tarleton, Campaigns, 216. 

360 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The impetuous Tarleton, impatient with the sluggish de- 
ployment of his weary troops, issued the order to advance 
before the formation was complete. As the artillery roared 
the infantry gave three "huzzas" and swung into a slow trot 
toward the American lines. 104 

Morgan, as he galloped among his men, heard the cheers 
and shouted, "They give us the British halloo, boys, give 
them the Indian halloo, by God." 105 

The British advance was met with "a heavy and galling 
fire" as they drew near the skirmish line of McDowell and 
Cunningham. 106 The green and scarlet line halted, then push- 
ed on. The skirmish line faded back through the trees, firing 
as often as they could reload their rifles. One section of this 
first line fell back and merged with Pickens' militia. The re- 
mainder circled around and reformed in the rear of the third 
line. The British halted, regrouped, dressed their line, and 
continued their advance. 107 

Pickens ordered his command to fire by regiments, pro- 
viding a covering fire for those reloading their pieces. The 
British assault wavered under this steady fire, but discipline 
overcame fear and the attack still moved forward. As the 
British approached within forty yards of Pickens' line, they 
fired a volley, few of the shots finding a mark. 108 Then, with 
empty muskets, and with a shout, the British rushed forward 
with the bayonet. 109 The courage of the untrained militia 
waned at the sight of the cold steel and they began to fall 

104 Anderson, "Journal of Lieutenant Thomas Anderson. . . . ," Historical 
Magazine, 2d series, I, 209. 

105 Edwards, "Memoirs of Major Thomas Young," The Orion, III, 101. 
we Morgan to Greene, January 17, 1781. Myers, Cowpens Papers, 25. 

107 Anderson, "Journal of Lieutenant Thomas Anderson. . . . ," Historical 
Magazine, 2d series, I, 209. 

108 In 1835 a visitor to the battlefield found evidence that many shots had 
lodged in the trees, some as high as thirty or forty feet. Benjamin F. Perry 
Papers, Southern Historical Collection. 

109 At the beginning of the war the Americans had little faith in the 
bayonet, while the British regarded it as a special weapon for their regulars 
and it was their custom to charge with the bayonet whenever practicable. 
Steuben, apostle of shock tactics, urged that the light infantry keep bayonets 
continually fixed. The assault upon Redoubt No. 9 at Yorktown by the 
American Light Infantry was made with unloaded muskets and fixed bay- 
onets. Wright, "Notes on the Continental Army," William and Mary Quar- 
terly, 2d series, XI, 89-90. The British sergeant turned historian, R. Lamb, 
made the statement that the frequent rains in North America often pre- 
vented the use of the musket and made the bayonet a very important weap- 
on. R. Lamb, Memoir of His Own Life (Dublin: J. Jone, 1811), 202. 

Cowpens : Prelude to Yorktown 361 

back. Pickens managed to control the movement of many of 
his men and conducted an orderly retreat although "with 
haste/' He led this group to the rear of the Continentals ancj 
reformed them on the right flank. The remainder, panic- 
stricken, fled precipitately to the spot where they had left 
their horses. 110 

The commander of the dragoons protecting Tarleton's 
right flank, a Captain Ogilvie, detected the fleeing militia 
and his troops were ordered to charge them. 111 As the British 
rode among the frightened Americans, they became scattered 
and disorganized. Washington, after a hurried conference 
with Howard, charged the British dragoons with such force 
that many were thrown from their horses and were unable 
to remount under the flashing sabres of the Americans. Those 
who had been able to retain their seat turned and fled with 
such haste that one witness later declared that "they appeared 
to be as hard to stop as a drove of wild Choctaw steers, go- 
ing to the Pennsylvania market." 112 

Meanwhile, the British infantry had gained confidence 
with the flight of the militia. Their step quickened as they 
neared the final American line. The advance slowed as they 
were met with a steady and well-directed fire, and "it seemed 
like one sheet of flame from right to left." 118 Tarleton, having 
missed an excellent opportunity by failing to throw in his 
cavalry reserve in the pursuit of the militia, now ordered his 
infantry reserve into action, but still refused to commit his 
dragoons. 114 The British line, longer than that of the Ameri- 
cans, gradually began to turn the left flank of the defenders. 
Howard, fearing encirclement, ordered Wallace's Virginia 
Company to change its front. The order was mistaken and 
the group began to fall back. The other unit commanders, 
assuming that a general retreat had been ordered, also be- 

110 Lee, Memoirs, 228. 

in Tarleton, Campaigns, 217. 

112 Collins, Autobiography, 57. 

113 Edwards, "Memoirs of Major Thomas Young," The Orion, III, 101. 

114 Major Mc Arthur, commanding Tarleton's reserve, had urged an all- 
out cavalry charge as the Americans retreated. At his subsequent capture he 
complained bitterly that the best troops in the service had been put under 
"that boy" to be sacrificed. John Eager Howard quoted in Henry Lee, The 
Campaign of 1781 in the Carolinas: with Remarks Historical and Critical 
on Johnson's Life of Greene (Philadelphia: E. Littell, 1824), 96n. 

362 The North Carolina Historical Review 

gan a gradual withdrawal with their troops. Morgan, al- 
though the retirement was orderly, rode among the troops 
pleading for just one more volley and shouting, "Old Morgan 
was never beaten." 115 Morgan expressed apprehension to 
Howard, who answered by indicating the orderly line and 
observing that men who retreated in that good order were 
never beaten. This logic of his subordinate was convincing 
and Morgan ordered Howard to continue the retrograde 
movement until the infantry was under the protection of 
Washington's cavalry, while he rode back to fix a spot at 
which he wished the Americans to face about and pour a sud- 
den volley into the face of their pursuers. Howard busied him- 
self with straightening out his line and communicating this 
stratagem to his officers. 116 It was then that Washington had 
ridden up and told Howard that if the infantry could hold, 
he was going to charge Ogilvie's dragoons who were then 
riding down the fleeing militia in the rear. 117 Even as Howard 
assented, the British, thinking an American rout imminent, 
broke their formation and, shouting as they came, pressed 
forward. 118 The Americans, having retreated approximately 
fifty yards, reached the spot designated by Morgan, suddenly 
faced about and fired a volley, at a range of about ten yards, 
into the faces of their astonished foe. Those troops which had 
been, moments before, an example of British discipline and 
bravery, now became a milling mass of confused individuals. 
Howard was quick to seize the initiative. He shouted the 
command "charge bayonets," and "augmented their astonish- 
ment." 119 The day was won for the Americans. The British 
were thrown into an "unaccountable panick," 12 ° and dis- 
carding their muskets and cartouche boxes, "did the prettiest 

^Collins, Autobiography, 57. 

116 John Eager Howard quoted in Lee, Campaigns of 1781 in the Caro- 
linas, 97-98n. 

117 William Moultrie, Memoirs of the American Revolution, So Far as It 
Is Related to the States of North and South-Carolina and Georgia, 2 vols. 
(New York: David Longworth, 1802), II, 255. Hereafter cited as Moultrie, 
Memoirs. William Washington is supposed to have given Moultrie his ac- 
count of the battle of the Cowpens. 

118 Anderson, "Journal of Lieutenant Thomas Anderson . . . ," Historical 
Magazine, 2d series, I, 209. 

"* Tarleton, Campaigns, 217. Morgan to Greene, January 19, 1781. Gra- 
ham, Morgan, 468. 
150 Tarleton, Campaigns, 216. 

Cowpens : Prelude to Yorktown 363 

sort of running away.' 121 This sudden flight of the infantry 
which coincided with Ogilvie's retreat before Washington's 
dragoons transformed Tarleton's crack troops into a panic- 
stricken mob. 

The Americans pushed forward in vigorous pursuit. There 
was a cry of "Tarleton's quarters," but. Howard counteracted 
this with the command of "Give them quarter." Riding among 
the routed troops, he called upon them to lay down their 
arms and they would receive good quarters. More than 500 
took advantage of this promise and laid down their arms. 122 
Only the artillerymen fought on, defending their cannon un- 
til they were either all killed or wounded. 123 Howard person- 
ally saved the life of one of these men, in addition to a fright- 
ened British captain who admitted that the British troops 
had been instructed to give no quarter and was afraid that 
the Americans "would use him ill." 124 

About 250 British dragoons, held in reserve, had just re- 
ceived orders to go into action when the critical maneuver 
of the Americans had thrown back the infantry, whose head- 
long retreat, in turn, threw the cavalry into confusion. Tarle- 
ton gave orders to reform the mounted troops approximately 
400 yards to the rear while he went forward to rally the 
infantry and protect the artillery. 125 

The panic generated by the fleeing foot soldiers was com- 
municated to the cavalry. The mounted troops fled through 
the forest, riding down such officers as dared to try to oppose 
their flight. Tarleton, screaming curses, attempted to rally 
his dragoons for a charge on the Americans, who were rush- 
ing in pursuit of the defeated enemy with a complete disre- 
gard for military formation. Tarleton's horse was killed be- 

121 Edwards, "Memoirs of Major Thomas Young," The Orion, III, 101. 
Although the strategy which won the battle of Cowpens developed out of 
a mistaken order, the maneuver of feigning retreat and then suddenly 
turning upon the disorganized pursuers is quite old. William the Con- 
queror used it to advantage in defeating Harold at the Battle of Hastings 
in 1066. It was also a favorite maneuver of Genghis Khan. 

^Moultrie, Memoirs, II, 255-256. 

128 Cornwallis to Sir Henry Clinton, January 18, 1781. Ross, Correspond- 
ence of Charles, First Marquis Cornwallis, I, 82. Tarleton, Campaigns, 217. 

124 John Eager Howard quoted in The Magazine of American History, 
VII (October, 1881), 279. 

^Tarleton, Campaigns, 216-217. 

364 The North Carolina Historical Review 

neath him. He caught another. Only fourteen officers and 
fifty men responded to his orders to reform. 126 

This struggle was fierce, but short and decisive. Washing- 
ton personally led his men into action. His zeal almost cost 
him his life as he repeatedly found himself far ahead of his 
troops. Twice he was saved from injury, once by a stroke 
from his sergeant's sword and later by a lucky shot from the 
pistol of his bugler. Tradition states that Washington and 
Tarleton were engaged in personal combat and that Wash- 
ington's horse had been killed by a pistol shot from Tarleton, 
who is reported to have received a gash on his head from a 
sword wielded by Washington. The British commander, 
finally realizing the defeat was inevitable, wheeled and fled, 
closely pursued by the American cavalry. 127 Respite was 
gained as Washington followed the wrong road for a short 
distance. 128 The chase continued to the Pacolet River. There 
the Americans were informed by a Mrs. Goudelock that 
Tarleton had passed some time before, although at that 
moment he was actually engaged in crossing the river only 
a few hundred yards distant. Tarleton had pressed the 
woman's husband into service as a guide and she feared for 
his safety in the event of violence. Her deception was suc- 
cessful. Washington turned back. 129 The British baggage train 
had been sent approximately fifteen miles from the scene of 
battle, guarded by a detachment from each unit and com- 
manded by Lieutenant Fraser of the 71st Regiment. Fraser 

128 Tarleton, Campaigns, 218. 

127 Lee, Memoirs, 229. This flight later proved embarrassing to Tarleton, 
according to the following anecdote. When Cornwallis marched into Virginia 
from Wilmington he rested his troops in Halifax, North Carolina. In the 
home of Mrs. J. B. Ashe, in whose house General Leslie was quartered, 
Tarleton made the remark that he would be happy to see Colonel Washing- 
ton as he understood he was ugly and diminutive in person. Mrs. Ashe 
angrily replied, "If you had looked behind you, Colonel Tarleton, at the 
battle of Cowpens, you would have enjoyed that pleasure." John H. Wheeler, 
Historical Sketches of North Carolina, from 158 U to 1851. Compiled from 
Original Records, Official Documents, and Traditional Statements (Phila- 
delphia: Lippincott, Granbe and Co., 1851), 186. 

128 Morgan to Greene, January 19, 1781. Graham, Morgan, 469. 

129 p erryj Revolutionary Incidents, No. 7, Benjamin F. Perry Papers, 
Southern Historical Collection. One report stated that as Tarleton and his 
fugitives reached Hamilton's Ford the men hesitated to enter the swollen 
Broad River, even though they had just received word that Washington 
was close on their heels. Tarleton eventually drove them into the water by 
whipping them with the flat of his sabre. Edwards, "Memoirs of Major 
Thomas Young," The Orion, III, 102. 

Cowpens : Prelude to Yorktown 365 

had early received news of the defeat from "some friendly 
Americans," and immediately destroyed or burned that part 
of the baggage which could not be carried off. The men 
were loaded into a wagon or mounted on spare horses and 
hastily made their way to the encampment of Cornwallis. 
This was the only body of infantry which escaped, all others 
being killed or taken prisoner. 130 

Cornwallis first learned of the disaster of Cowpens from 
this group and a detachment of dragoons who arrived at his 
camp on the evening of January 17. Tarleton and his fugi- 
tives did not arrive until the following morning. 181 An Amer- 
ican prisoner of war who witnessed Tarleton's report of the 
battle to his superior reported that Cornwallis was leaning 
forward on his sword as Tarleton spoke. In his fury the British 
general pressed forward so hard that the weapon broke be- 
neath his weight, and he swore loudly that he would re- 
cover the prisoners, no matter what the cost. 182 

General Leslie was now less than a day's march from mak- 
ing a junction with Cornwallis and further action by the 
British force was delayed until the arrival of these additional 
troops. While awaiting the scattered remnants of his dra- 
goons to regroup, Tarleton displayed a sudden interest in 
the welfare of his troops which he had neglected in their 
somewhat injudicious employment at Cowpens. He dispatch- 
ed, under the protection of a flag, a surgeon to care for, and 
a sum of money to be used for, his captured soldiers. 188 

When the refugees from Cowpens had been reassembled 
and strengthened with additional troops from other units, 
they were dispatched, under the command of Tarleton, upon 
Morgan's trail in an effort to rescue the prisoners. The chase 
continued for two days before it was determined that the 
Americans were out of reach. 184 

130 Mackenzie, StHctures, 102-103. David Ramsey, History of the American 
Revolution, 2 vols. (London: John Stockdale, 1793), II, 235. Tarleton, to 
salve his wounded pride, and possibly to restore a minute portion of his 
vanquished glory, later declared that he had attacked the wagons, dis- 
persed the enemy guard, and had burned the wagons and baggage to pre- 
vent them from falling into American hands. Tarleton, Campaigns, 217. 

131 Mackenzie, Strictures, 102-103. 

132 "Memoir of Joseph McJunkin of Union," The Magnolia, II, 39. 

133 Tarleton to Morgan, January 19, 1781. Myers, Cowpens Papers, 29. 

134 A. R. Newsome (ed.), "A British Orderly Book, 1780-1781," The North 
Carolina Historical Review, IX (July, 1932), 284-285. 

366 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The defeat at the Cowpens had been a severe and unex- 
pected blow to British expectations, and was even more sig- 
nificant in its consequences than King's Mountain, for Tarle- 
ton's drubbing deprived Lord Cornwallis of the light troops 
which had been destined to play a major role in the inva- 
sion. Britain could not afford to lose face a second time in 
the South as "defensive measures would be certain ruin to 
the affairs of Britain in the Southern Colonies." 135 The British 
general made the decision to pursue Morgan with his entire 
command, force him to fight, and wipe out the humiliation 
of Cowpens. It was thus that the decision was made to launch 
the campaign which was to culminate in the termination of 
major hostilities on American soil. 

Back at the Cowpens Morgan had surveyed the field of 
battle. He had just won an overwhelming victory over a 
force with which he would have been happy to fight a drawn 
contest. With a motley force of between 900 and 1,000 men, 
of whom only about 800 were actually engaged and a large 
number were untried militia, he had defeated a superior 
army of approximately 1,150 well-trained British soldiers. 
His casualties were amazingly light. Only twelve had been 
killed and sixty wounded. In contrast, British losses were 
staggering. Ten officers were included among the 110 killed. 
There had been 702 captured, 200 of them wounded. The 
American militia had become scattered in rounding up those 
of Tarleton's group who had escaped the carnage. Twenty- 
nine British officers were counted among the prisoners. Much 
valuable equipment had been taken, including two field 
pieces, 136 two standards, 187 800 muskets, one travelling forge, 

185 Cornwallis to Germain, March 17, 1781. Ross, The Correspondence of 
Charles, First Marquis Cornwallis, I, 503. 

138 These cannon had an interesting background. They had been taken 
from Burgoyne at Saratoga by Morgan, and had been retaken from General 
Thomas Sumter by Tarleton in the engagement at Blackstock's, November 
20, 1781. "Extracts from William's Notebook," Calendar of the General Otho 
Williams Papers, 36. These two field pieces were also probably among the 
four cannon captured from Greene at the battle of Guilford Court House 
by Cornwallis. 

137 These were the colors of the 71st Regiment and the British Legion. 
According to British army custom, these two units were required to hence- 
forth wear their tunics without facings. The 71st Regiment, a Scottish 
Regiment, also lost their bagpipes. O. H. Williams to Dr. James McHenry, 
January 23, 1781, Calendar of the General Otho Williams Papers, 36-37. 

Cowpens : Prelude to Yorktown 367 

thirty-five wagons, 100 horses and "all their music." Among 
the booty were seventy Negroes, who had been brought 
along as servants for the British officers. 138 This surprising 
triumph had been achieved in less than an hour. 

It was apparent to the victorious Morgan that although 
he had won the field, he could not retain possession. Corn- 
wallis would soon be marching with his entire army in an 
attempt to recover the prisoners and remove some of the 
tarnish from British military glory. A defeat would spoil the 
fruits of victory, and the decision was to move at once to 
the northward. Lieutenant Colonel Washington had not re- 
turned from his pursuit of Tarleton, but Morgan, after parol- 
ing the captured British officers and dispatching the news of 
his victory to Greene, marched north to the Catawba with 
his prisoners on the morning of January 18. Instructions were 
left for Washington to follow as soon as he returned to the 
field. 139 

Colonel Pickens was left behind with the local militia to 
bury the dead and collect the wounded of both commands. 
Approximately a day was spent in this operation. The wound- 
ed were placed in captured British tents and left with a 
guard, under a flag of truce. The militia took full advantage 
of their opportunities and plundered both the dead and the 
wounded. 140 At the completion of this task, Pickens dismissed 
the militia and hurried after Morgan. The race to the Dan 
had begun. 

The battle of the Cowpens, a small engagement when con- 
sidered as to the numbers engaged, was far-reaching in its 
results. The first reaction of Sir Henry Clinton, commandant 
of British forces in North America, was, "I confess I dread 


Morgan to Greene, January 19, 1781. Graham, Morgan, 310-311. Tarle- 
ton also claimed that the money entrusted to him for the purchase of horses 
and intelligence had been "lost by the unfortunate affair of the Cowpens." 
He also reported that similar accounts for 1781 had been lost during a 
forced march in North Carolina. Tarleton to the Secretary of the Board of 
Auditors, May 25, 1789, Year Book: City of Charleston, S. C, 1882 
(Charleston: Lucas and Richardson, 1883), 371. 

139 Morgan to Greene, January 19, 1781. Graham, Morgan, 469. Washing- 
ton's cavalry rounded up nearly 100 additional prisoners while on their re- 
turn to the battlefield. Graham, Morgan, 308. 

140 Collins, Autobiography, 58. 

368 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the Consequences." 141 For Cornwallis, it was the first link 
in a chain of circumstances which led to Yorktown and ulti- 
mate defeat. British critics of Tarleton have stated that the 
defeat at Yorktown can be traced to the loss of the light 
troops at Cowpens. 142 

The attention of the Continental Congress was directed 
towards the South at the seldom received report of a south- 
ern victory. One member of the Congress wrote to Greene: 

the intelligence received was a most healing cordial to our droop- 
ing spirits ... it was so very unexpected. It seems to have had 
a very sensible effect on some folks, for this is convincing proof 
that something is to be done, in that department. 143 

Another member felt that Maryland's acceptance of the 
Articles of Confederation had been a result of the news of 
the triumph at Cowpens. 144 

A grateful Congress voted a gold medal to Morgan, silver 
medals to Howard and Washington, and a sword to Pickens. 
Both officers and men of Morgan's army were extended "the 
thanks of the United States in Congress Assembled." 145 The 
Virginia House of Delegates voted to award Morgan a horse 
"with furniture," in addition to a sword. 146 John Rutledge of 
South Carolina, penniless and a governor without a state, 
could only send his "warmest and most cordial thanks." 147 

Opinion in England was, as usual, divided along political 
lines. The Gentleman's Magazine attempted to minimize the 
blow by declaring, "there is no great reason to believe our 

141 Clinton to Cornwallis, March 5, 1781. Clark, State Records of North 
Carolina, XVII, 989. 

142 Stedman, History of the . . . American War, II, 327. Mackenzie, Stric- 
tures, 89. Annual Register, or a View of the History, Politics, and Litera- 
ture for the Year 1781, 56. 

143 John Matthews to Greene, February 10, 1781. Burnett, Letters, V, 568. 

144 Ezekiel Cornell to Governor Greene of Rhode Island, February 9, 1781. 
Burnett, Letters, V, 566n. Actually, Maryland's decision rested on the fact 
that she was unable to defend the Chesapeake against British sea power. 
The clinching argument had come when the state had applied to the French 
Minister for naval aid and he had, in turn, urged Maryland to ratify the 
articles. Edmund Cody Burnett, The Continental Congress (New York: The 
Macmillan Company, 1941), 500. 

145 Ford, Journals of the Continental Congress, XIX, 246-247. 
14e Graham, Morgan, 320. 

147 Rutledge to Morgan, January 25, 1781. Graham, Morgan, 332-333. 
Rutledge also enclosed a commission as brigadier general of the South 
Carolina militia for Andrew Pickens. 

Cowpens : Prelude to Yorktown 369 

loss so great as the enemy would insinuate." 148 Horace Wal- 
pole, whose writings portray the extreme Whig point of view, 

America is once more not quite ready to be conquered, al- 
though every now and then we fancy it is. Tarleton is defeated, 
Lord Cornwallis is checked and Arnold not sure of having be- 
trayed his friends to much purpose. 149 

General George Washington, ever cautious, warned against 
overconfidence and premature victory celebrations. He fear- 
ed that the southern states would regard the victory as de- 
cisive in its consequences and would tend to relax in their 
military exertions. 150 But his pessimism failed to dim the 
jubilance of the people. An aide to General Greene wrote 
with prophetic insight, "This is but the prelude to the aera 
of 1781 the close of which I hope will prove memorable in 
the annals of history as the happy period of peace, liberty, and 
independence in America." 151 William Gordon, even then 
collecting materials for his projected history of the Revolu- 
tion, evaluated the victory thus, "Morgan's success will be 
more important in its distant consequences, than on the day 
of victory." 152 

Probably the significance of the battle was best expressed 
in a letter from Nathanael Greene to Henry Knox written 
during the siege of Yorktown. Greene said, "We have been 
beating the bush, and the General has come to catch the 
bird." 153 Cowpens was the first stroke, and "the bird" that 
Washington caught had been flushed. 

148 Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Chronicle, LI (March, 1781), 186. 

149 Walpole to Sir Horace Mann, March 30, 1781, Mrs. Paget Toynbee 
(ed.), The Letters of Horace Walpole, Fourth Earl of Oxford, 16 vols. 
(Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1914), XI, 419. 

150 Washington to the President of Congress, February 17, 1781. Fitz- 
patrick, Writings of Washington, XXI, 238. 

151 Lewis Morris, Jr., to Jacob Morris, January 24, 1781. Collections of 
the New-York Historical Society for the Year 1875, VII, 477. This letter 
was reprinted in the New Jersey Gazette, February 21, 1781, as its ac- 
count of the battle. Moore, Diary of the American Revolution, II, 375-376. 

152 William Gordon to Washington, February 28, 1781. Proceedings of the 
Massachusetts Historical Society, 1929-1930 (Boston: The Society, 1931), 
LXIII, 452. 

153 Greene to Henry Knox, September 29, 1781, Noah Brooks, Henry Knox, 
Soldier of the Revolution (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1900), 157. 


By Robert LeRoy Hilldrup 

More women of the Old South than is generally realized 
used their literary talents in behalf of their section during 
the cold war of propaganda that preceded the outbreak of 
hostilities at Fort Sumter. They not only defended the cul- 
ture and institutions of their section but they also attacked 
life in the North. 

Puritanism was one of the elements in northern life which 
was exceedingly distasteful to many southerners. Anne 
Newport Royall, a vigorous crusader for most of the virtues 
of eighteenth century enlightment, found it a cloak of re- 
spectability for a conspiracy of "pious bigots" who were de- 
termined to gain power for themselves by pretending to be 
better than other people. She identified the Presbyterian re- 
vivalists then sweeping the country with New England Puri- 
tans, called them "blueskins," and stated that they were fleec- 
ing poor, ignorant folk of their hard-earned cash by selling 
them religious tracts of dubious authenticity. She further 
charged that they possessed no Christian charity and were 
attempting to establish within the United States an economic 
and an ecclesiastical tyranny. She asserted they used higher 
law doctrines and abolitionism merely as devices to deceive 
more people into believing that they were morally superior 
when, actually, they were less interested in the welfare of 
their fellowmen than most people, for they placed profits 
above everything else, including honesty. 1 

The only difference in the terms of employment that she 
could discover between the slave owners of Mississippi and 
the "blueskin" employers of New England was "that the 
slaves of the latter work for their masters, find themselves 
and pay their own taxes," while the slaves of the former work 

1 Anne Royall, The Tennessean: A Novel Founded on Facts (New Haven, 
1827), 4; and Mrs. Roy all's Southern Tour or Second Series of the Black 
Book (Washington, 1831), III, 80-91, 150-151, 159, passim. 


Cold War Against the Yankees 371 

for their masters, who find them in victuals and clothes and 
pay their taxes." 2 Southern slaves were, she continued, a 
hundred times better off than northern paupers. She ap- 
parently believed each state should decide for itself whether 
it would be slave or free, but she was opposed to federal 
laws that excluded slaves from the territories, including 
those remaining in the Old Northwest. 8 

In keeping with her position on the issue, Royall expressed 
contempt for Henry Ward Beecher, the high priest of the 
"blueskins," whom she canonized with withering sarcasm 
"St. Beecher of Boston." 4 

She stated her charges against the North in The Tennes- 
sean: A Novel Founded on Facts, published in 1827, prior 
to the era of the most bitter sectional literature. Neverthe- 
less, it seems to have been popular. 5 She then reiterated her 
views in Mrs. RoyalFs Southern Tour or Second Series of the 
Black Book ( 1831 ) ; and she kept her interpretations of cur- 
rent affairs before the public by publishing a small, inde- 
pendent newspaper in Washington, D. C, entitled Paul Pry, 
from December 3, 1831, to November 19, 1836, and then 
The Huntress from December 2, 1836, to July 24, 1854, ap- 
proximately three months before her death. 6 

Delaware-born Mary J. Windle 7 also disliked northern 
Puritans. She depicted the self -righteousness and unjust 
sternness of their English forebears and of Oliver Cromwell 
in a historical novelette of genuine literary merit, "The Lady 
of the Rock." l She found that they cried out against slavery 
as abolitionists, but were so engrossed in the pursuit of 

3 Royall, Mrs. Roy all's Southern Tour, III, 87, 93. 

3 Royall, Mrs. RoyalVs Southern Tour, III, 80, 165, 193. 

4 Heber Blankenhorn, "The Grandma of the Muckrakers," American 
Mercury, XII (September, 1927), 92. 

5 It is in the Taylor Collection of Bestsellers, The Alderman Library, 
The University of Virginia. Because of RoyalFs attacks the "blueskins" 
resurrected a medieval common law under which she was convicted in Mary- 
land as a common scold, the only person in the history of the republic 
who can claim this distinction. Blankenhorn, "The Grandma of the Muck- 
rakers," 92. 

6 From a newspaper clipping in the front of RoyalFs Mrs. RoyalVs 
Southern Tour, III, in the Mercantile Library of Philadelphia. 

7 John S. Hart, The Female Prose Writers of America (Philadelphia, 
1852), 423-429. 

8 Mary J. Windle, "The Lady of the Rock," Life at the White Sulphur 
Springs; or, Pictures of a Pleasant Summer (Philadelphia, 1857), 93-225. 

372 The North Carolina Historical Review 

wealth that they neglected the paupers of their own cities. 9 
Too, as consolidationists they favored national banks, but 
only for private gain at the expense of the public welfare. 10 
Besides, she averred that New Yorkers worshipped the "molt- 
en calf," and that preachers there were more interested in 
handsome bequests than in sinful souls, while Philadelphia 
was a city of brotherly love— like that of the first brothers. 11 

Perhaps she was most effective in depicting northerners 
as artificial and ill-bred in manners and dress and as lack- 
ing in oratorical and conversational graces, a mental stereo- 
type which still persists. She harped on this theme repeated- 
ly as a society reporter in some of the leading southern news- 
papers, including The Charleston Mercury and The Rich- 
mond Enquirer. 12 It was reaffirmed in two of her books: Life 
at the White Sulphur Springs; or, Pictures of a Pleasant Sum- 
mer (1857), and Life in Washington, and Life Here and 
There (1859). It was also a topic of discussion in novels by 
other southern women. 

A few quotations will illustrate Windle's bold technique. 
On one occasion she wrote: "Pretty faces are more general 
in the North, but in grace, beauty and expression, the South 
has the superiority. In elegance of dress, the southern girl 
is able to beat the Parisian 'elegantes' of the North with their 
own weapons, when they consider it worthwhile. The New 
York belles, in spite of the time and money they waste upon 
their toilet, are the worst dressed ladies in America." She 
then reported that when this true observation reached the 
eyes of the northern women staying at the White Sulphur 
Springs they immediately displayed their ill-manners by de- 
scending upon her in a body, tongue-lashing her and villify- 
ing the South until she was forced to flee to her room in 

9 The relation between Puritanism and certain New England writers, 
abolitionists and transcendentalists — Emerson, Longfellow, Lowell, Holmes 
and Stowe — was found to be close by Barris Mills, "Attitudes of Some 
Nineteenth-Century American Writers Towards Puritanism," (unpublished 
doctoral dissertation, University of Wisconsin, 1942), 165, 170, 231, 268, 
270, 317-319. 

10 Mary J. Windle, Life in Washington, and Life Here and There (Phila- 
delphia, 1859), 91. 

11 Windle, Life in Washington, 104, 136. 

u Windle, Life in Washington, preface ; Windle, "Pen and Ink Sketches 
at the Virginia Springs," The Richmond Enquirer, September 16, 1856. 

Cold War Against the Yankees 373 

tears. What seemed to hurt her most was the attitude of com- 
placent superiority that the northern women assumed and 
their dastardly charge that her criticism was "all jealousy." 13 

She nevertheless persisted in expressing her views. More- 
over, she declared that southern males "had an air distingue, 
inimitable by the northerners with all their Frenchifica- 
tions." 14 And, as for northern orators, the speech of one was 
"a grotesque compound" composed of "convulsive flights and 
exaggeration." Others, including Senator Wilson of Massachu- 
setts, descended to levels of gross indecency when they spoke 
in Congress. In contrast southern leaders were courteous 
gentlemen and judicious statesmen. Speaker Orr, a South 
Carolinian, presided with dignity and impartiality over the 
House of Representatives and Alexander H. Stephens en- 
thralled the chamber with his eloquence. 15 

Several southern writers found in commercialism an ex- 
planation of some of the undesirable qualities of northerners. 
Maria J. Mcintosh was one of those who favorably contrast- 
ed the influence upon character of southern plantation life 
with northern commercialism. In one of her popular novels, 
The Lofty and the Lowly ( 1852 ) , a stooge of Yankee specu- 
lators named Uriah Goldwire took advantage of unsuspecting 
southerners of little business sense and high ethical standards. 
He and his northern friends used the banks to force south- 
ern debtors into bankruptcy, and then bought their property 
at a mere fraction of its true value. Since Maria Mcintosh 
was a native of Georgia who had lost her fortune during the 
panic of 1837 because of speculations, she undoubtedly 
wrote with a conviction that was rooted in personal experi- 
ence. In her novels commercialism led to inhospitality, de- 
vious financial schemes, insincerity, dishonesty, a brisk ag- 
gressiveness, frugality, and industry. 

Mcintosh, who resided in the North many years, found 
that the commercial spirit even penetrated the most exclu- 
sive circles of northern society. It caused hardheartedness 

13 Windle, Life at the White Sulphur Springs, 41-42. 

14 Windle, Life at the White Sulphur Springs, 164. 

15 Windle, Life in Washington, 19, 26, 30-32, 42, 58-61, 295-300. 

374 The North Carolina Historical Review 

toward bereaved kinsmen among the wealthy merchants of 
Boston to such a degree as to cause indignant protests from 
generous plantation kinfolk and slaves in Georgia. It was the 
real cause of the painfully embarrassing remarks made by 
New York ladies about the dresses of southern belles who 
brought their wardrobe with them to Saratoga instead of giv- 
ing northerners a profit by purchasing the latest Parisian cre- 
ations from New York stores. It caused northern dowagers to 
seek financially successful marriage contracts for their daugh- 
ters with such zeal as to set a style of manners in northern 
society that was obnoxiously aggressive, blatantly unchival- 
rous, and grossly indelicate. 

Maria Mcintosh was one of the most prolific and popular 
writers of the mid-century. Her theme song, the superiority 
of the South, was found even in some of the popular stories 
for children which she wrote under the title of Aunt Kitty's 
Tales. 16 

Mary Virginia Hawes Terhune, whose pseudonym was 
Marion Harland, also deplored the adverse effect of northern 
commercialism upon character. Deprecating marriages for 
money she wrote in a novel entitled Moss-Side "Girls are 
sold as publicly and unblushingly as was ever an Eastern 
slave, to gratify the passion of their parents for wealth and 
distinction." 1T When discussing the character of northerners 
elsewhere she used such expressions as "shrewd Yankee" and 
"Yankee cunning," 18 thereby contributing to the idea that 
they were crafty in trade. 

She did not attribute to commercialism the sole responsi- 
bility for the cold materialism, uncouth manners, and unro- 
mantic qualities in northern society. She held feminism partly 
responsible. In Moss-Side, women had equal rights already 
if they behaved themselves and entered into matrrimony only 
when it was prompted by mutual love; government by men 
was preferred to "a female autocracy;" 19 and where feminists 

16 Maria Mcintosh, Aunt Kitty's Tales (New York: G. S. Appleton) ; 
Mcintosh, Northern and Southern Life (1852) ; Hart, The Female Prose 
Writers of America, 63-75. 

"Marion Harland, Moss-Side (New York, Carleton edition, 1876), 43. 

18 Harland, Moss-Side, 31, 77. 

19 Harland, Moss-Side, 303. 

Cold War Against the Yankees 375 

gained control in the North their children became unruly 
and ill-mannered because they were neglected; their hus- 
bands were timid because they were brow-beaten; and di- 
vorces increased because of the resulting unhappiness. 20 

Mary Howard Schoolcraft, an ardent southerner from 
South Carolina, connected the growing disrespect for the 
sacredness of marriage in the North with abolitionism. If 
abolitionists had their way every white woman would marry 
Negro brutes and the purest African-blooded "Mumbo Jum- 
bo" would some day be elected to the presidency of the 
United States. But, fortunately, any "refined Anglo-Saxon 
lady would sooner be burnt at the stake than married to one of 
these black descendants of Ham." Northern abolition preach- 
ers were loosening the ties of marriage as well as of slavery, 
although both were divinely ordained. They were encourag- 
ing crime and Mormonism. Divorces were unusually high 
among the abolitionists of Kansas. The Negroes would gladly 
enter into such a scheme because they did not regard matri- 
monial relations seriously. Naturally chivalry could not sur- 
vive in such a milieu. 

Only the South stood firmly against this unholy thing. 
There womanhood was respected. There divorces were 
frowned upon. Indeed, they were not permitted at all under 
the laws of one southern state— South Carolina. Rape was 
still classed with murder there, and death was the penalty 
for both crimes. Chivalry still flourished. Hence there was 
no talk of woman's rights or woman's influence in the South, 
for her wish was a command. 21 

Emma Dorothy Nevitte Southworth of Maryland furnish- 
ed still another interpretation of northern matrimonial prob- 
lems. She saw in the wild scramble among fashionable north- 
ern urbanites for titled European sons-in-law an incipient 
American aristocracy. In the South, contrariwise, social de- 
mocracy still prevailed, she declared, for in Maryland men 
"met as peers on equal terms, the only precedence being that 

20 Harland, Moss-Side, 310-342. 

21 Mrs. Henry R. Schoolcraft (Mary Howard Schoolcraft), The Black 
Gauntlet: A Tale of Plantation Life in South Carolina (Philadelphia, 1860), 
vii-viii, 46, 159, 213, 226-227, 239. 

376 The North Carolina Historical Review 

given by courtesy." 22 The extent of this democratic quality 
in southern life was demonstrated in Ishmael, a supposedly 
true story of the rise of a poor boy of eastern Maryland to 
a position of social and political prominence despite the be- 
lief that he was of illegitimate birth. 

Ishmael, like a number of the other novels of Southworth, 
was published serially in newspapers. It is said to have been 
the most popular story ever printed in the New York Ledger. 
Emma Southworth was probably the most popular American 
novelist of the mid-century. 

Sue Petigru Bowen, a South Carolinian, also wrote un- 
favorably upon northern morals and manners. She contribut- 
ed to the notion in the South that northern city-bred men 
were weaklings and philanderers, describing in Lily, A Novel 
( New York, 1855 ) a typical New York society man as being 
"small and thin, slightly knock-kneed, and very carefully 
dressed." He "lived on dancing and a little opium" and he 
flirted furiously with southern belles. As a result they often 
came home "pursued by rumors" but "seldom by the causes 
of those rumors." 23 

She claimed, moreover, that northerners lacked the quali- 
ties of good hostesses and gracious guests, citing a New York 
matron who caricatured one of her guests for the amusement 
of the others. The remonstrances of a southern lady only 
"flashed a momentary shame into their callous souls." 24 In 
her writings the northerners displayed these same poor man- 
ners when they came as guests to Charleston by ridiculing 
the dress, the gentle leisurely ways, and the dancing of their 
hostesses or of southerners in general. 25 

The hard lot of the laborers in the North was a theme 
often repeated by the women writers of the Old South. It 
was used by Royall, Windle and Mcintosh, as has been 
shown, and by Eliza Neville in "Lines on Reading Mrs. Trol- 

22 Emma Dorothy Nevitte Southworth, Ishmael (New York: Mershan), 
154. In the foreword of this edition it is stated that Ishmael was originally 
published in the New York Ledger under the title of "Self-Made, or, Out 
of the Depths," and was the most popular story ever printed in that paper. 
James D. Hart, The Popular Book (New York, 1950), 96-97. 

23 Sue Petigru Bowen, Lily, A Novel, 83-84, 115, 116. 

24 Bowen, Lily, A Novel, 233. 
26 Bowen, Lily, A Novel, 88. 

Cold War Against the Yankees 377 

lope's Factory Boy," 26 and by Mrs. Woodson in A Southern 
Home. 27 Mary Schoolcraft cited the Charleston Mercury as 
authority for a statement that 100,000 poor folk in New 
York City alone would be glad to exchange places with 
southern slaves; and she quoted a resolution adopted by the 
laborers of Pemberton Mills to the effect that Negro slavery 
was vastly preferable to the low wages and tyranny of their 
company, which made within a year a net profit of $150,000.- 
00. 28 As a result of such conditions, ignorance, malnutrition, 
disease, pauperism and even starvation allegedly pervaded 
northern industrial centers. 

Mistreatment of orphans by northerners was another topic 
popular with many southern writers. Augusta Jane Evans 
Wilson described this evil in a northern community in Beulah 
(1859). Margaret Couch Anthony Cabell brought the scene 
to her own home town, Lynchburg, Virginia, by relating how 
cruel northerners over- worked, whipped, and starved a friend- 
less little orphaned girl there until the good people of the 
town rescued the child and indignantly drove the northern 
family from the community. She concluded the narration 
with this gibe; "Had Ann Hindershot been a slave on a south- 
ern plantation, this incident might have done admirably as 
a fresh horror for Mrs. Beecher Stowe to add to 'Uncle Tom's 
Cabin'; but as Ann Hindershot was only a white servant, and 
her master and mistress natives of a northern state, it is not 
likely that Mrs. Stowe will venture to weave such a narra- 
tive in any of her productions." 29 

Southern women writers also publicized the idea that the 
plight of the free Negroes of the North was deplorable. Caro- 
line E. Rush contrasted New York squalor with the abun- 
dance of a plantation in Mississippi, where even the slaves 
were well-fed. 30 Schoolcraft declared that the North was "a 

26 Eliza Neville, "Lines on Reading Mrs. Trollope's Factory Boy," The 
Magnolia (Savannah), I (1842), 313-314. 

27 Authorship attributed to Mrs. [ ? ] Woodson of Charlottesville by 
Margaret Couch Anthony Cabell, Sketches and Recollections of Lynchburg 
(Richmond, 1858), 112; recommended as reading for southerners. The 
Southern Literary Messenger (Richmond), XXI (February, 1855), 127. 

28 Schoolcraft, The Black Gauntlet, 254n, 307-309. 

29 Cabell, Sketches and Recollections of Lynchburg, 258-265. 

30 Caroline E. Rush, The North and the South; or, Slavery and Its Con- 
trasts (Philadelphia, 1852). 

378 The North Carolina Historical Review 

snare of the devil" for the Negro, causing him to become law- 
less or homesick for the South. 31 Mrs. H. E. Wilson's Our Meg 
(Boston, 1859) was a discourse on the suffering of free Ne- 
groes in the North, and Mrs. G. M. Flander's The Ebony Idol 
was a satire upon the efforts of an abolition organization to 
care for a Negro. 32 

The North was viewed as a region of strange cults and 
erratic beliefs by some southern writers as ism after ism 
arose there: Unitarianism, transcendentalism, feminism, 
bloomerism, Mormonism, teetotalism, socialism, free-loveism, 
styleism, abolitionism, and racial amalgamationism. "The 
fact is, you northern people are full of your isms'' scoffed 
Mary H. Eastman in Aunt Phillis's Cabin, "you must start a 
new one every year." 33 Mary Eastman was a daughter of Dr. 
Thomas Henderson, of Warrenton, Virginia. She later wrote 
Fashionable Life (Philadelphia, 1856), a dissertation on the 
artificiality of New York styles and fashions. 34 

Several southern women attributed much of the sectional- 
ism to economic differences. Sue Pettigru Bowen and Louisa 
S. McCord were among these economic determinists. In a 
passage of one of Bowen's novels, a southern planter is made 
to declare philosophically that the abolitionists really were 
not inspired by moral or religious indignation but by econo- 
mic self interest. 35 

Louisa McCord emphasized in scholarly economic treatises 
that northern manufacturers favored protective tariffs only 
because of the special monopolistic advantages they could 
obtain therefrom. She stood firmly for laissez-faire doctrines 
and free trade, declaring they furnished the best policy for 
the South and for the nation. She cited the new free trade 
program of Great Britain as a sign of its enlightenment and 
its economic progress. She asserted that protectionism must 

31 Schoolcraft, The Black Gauntlet, 51, 530. A southerner, C. J. Brown, 
opened an office in Detroit to assist fugitive slaves who wished to return 
to their southern home. Schoolcraft, The Black Gauntlet, 253n. 

32 Francis Pendleton Gaines, The Southern Plantation (New York, 1925), 
46-47; Herbert Ross Brown, The Sentimental Novel 1789-1860 (Durham: 
Duke University Press, 1940), 271. 

83 Quoted from Mary Eastman, Aunt Phillis's Cabin (Philadelphia, 1853). 
Brown, The Sentimental Novel, 271. 

34 Hart, Female Prose Writers of America, 226. 

35 Bowen, Lily, A Novel, 45. 

Cold War Against the Yankees 379 

inevitably lead to high cost, state socialism, the dole system, 
and loss of freedom. She maintained that "all commercial 
intercourse" is "beneficial to both sides" and that normal 
international trade must soon cease when nations adopt navi- 
gation laws. She freely admitted that laissez-faire was ac- 
companied by struggle and some injustice; but she affirmed 
that it furnished the only road to achievement, to self-re- 
liance, and to freedom, for people cannot be free until they 
have won the right to be free. 

She wrote a reply to a book by H. C. Carey, one of the 
leading northern protectionists, in which she maintained the 
northern advocates of high tariffs were seeking them to gain 
greater profits for themselves by enslaving the exporting 
agricultural South. 36 She quoted Bastiat, Ricardo, Molinari, 
John Lewis and several other economists in expounding her 
theory. She published many articles on the subject in The 
Southern Quarterly Review. 37 Her translation of Francois 
Bastiat's Sophismes Econorniques under the English title 
"Sophisms of the Protective Policy" elicited from one re- 
viewer the statement that it was "the very best of its class 
that we have ever read." 38 

Finally, southern women saw in the North an alarming 
growth of un-American influences. An influx of immigrants 
to that region and the activities of the American or "Know 
Nothing" party helped to confirm them in this view. Mrs. 
Woodson asserted in A Southern Home that the Federal 
Union was in mortal danger because elections were controlled 
in the northern states by foreigners, uneducated working- 
men, fanatics, and Roman Catholics who had vowed to obey 
the popes. 39 Some anti-Catholic and anti-foreign passages 
are in Augusta Jane Evans Wilson's Inez: A Tale of the 

30 D. J. M. [Louisa S. McCord (Mrs. D. J.) ?], "Art. IV. Navigation 
Laws," The Southern Quarterly Review (Charleston), I n.s. (April, 1850), 
49; L. S. M. [Louisa S. McCord], "Carey on the Slave Trade," IX n.s. 
(January, 1854), 115-184. 

87 L. S. M. [Louisa S. McCord], "Justice and Fraternity," The Southern 
Quarterly Review, XV (July, 1849), 356-374; "Negro and White Slaves 
Wherein do they Differ," IV n.s, (July, 1851), 118-132. 

88 No reviewer named, The Southern Quarterly Review, XIV (July, 1848), 

39 By a Virginian [Mrs. Woodson of Charlottesville?], A Southern Home 
(Richmond, 1855), 217-219. 

380 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Alamo, 40 Catharine Ann Ware WarfielcTs The Household of 
Bouverie; or The Elixir of Gold, 41 and Marion Harland's 
Alone. 42 Louisa McCord was disturbed by the growth of the 
foreign doctrines of socialism in the North and the conversion 
thereto of prominent Americans, among whom she included 
Horace Greeley and Albert Brisbane. 43 

In Mary Schoolcraft's opinion abolitionism was an un-Amer- 
ican movement, promoted by stockholders of the British East 
India Company to cripple southern agriculture and to gain 
for India the supremacy in producing cotton and tobacco. 
She warned that if this British scheme should succeed, Rus- 
sia probably would seize India and make English cotton 
manufacturers dependent upon its caprices for their supply 
of raw materials. Schoolcraft asserted, moreover, that Euro- 
peans and foreigners in the United States were agitating the 
slavery issue to keep the United States from becoming a 
world power, and quoted a speech by Senator Clingman of 
North Carolina as evidence of the discovery of such an in- 
ternational plot to break the American Union. 44 

Naturally Southern women did not allow Harriet Beecher 
Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin to go unchallenged. They replied 
by denying that southern life was as cruel as Mrs. Stowe de- 
scribed it, by enlarging upon the dangers of Africanization, 
by emphasizing the advantages of slavery to the slave, to 
the South, and to the nation, and by reiterating the evils of 
northern life and character. 

Perhaps the first reply to Uncle Tom's Cabin was Carolina 
Lee Hentz's Marcus Warland; or a Tale of the South in 1852. 
Except for attacks upon the untruthfulness of fanatical aboli- 
tionists, Mrs. Hentz contented herself with a description of 
life in the South as she had seen it in many parts of the black 
belt during twenty years of residence therein, believing ap- 


Augusta Jane Evans Wilson, Inez: A Tale of the Alamo (New York, 
1864), [7], 34. Originally published by Harpers in 1855. John D. Wade, 
"Augusta Jane Evans," Dictionary of American Biography, VI, 195. 

41 Catherine Ann Ware Warfield, The Household of Bouverie; or The 
Elixir of Gold (2 vols., New York, 1860), I, 46-48, 55. 

^Marion Harland, Alone (New York: Carleton, 1876; originally publish- 
ed in 1854), 306-307. 

43 L. S. M. [Louisa S. McCord], "The Right to Labor," The Southern Quar- 
terly Review, XVI (October, 1849), 145. 

44 Schoolcraft, The Black Gauntlet, 215, 403. 

Cold War Against the Yankees 381 

parently that such a first-hand account would destroy the 
influence of abolitionists among the northern masses. 45 In a 
second book on the subject, The Planters Northern Bride, 
she reminded her readers that she was a native of the North 
who had lived in the South long enough really to understand 
the region. Of slavery she wrote, "One thing is certain, and 
if we were on judicial oath we would repeat it, that during 
our residence in the South, we have never witnessed one 
scene of cruelty or oppression, nor beheld a chain or manacle, 
or the infliction of a punishment more severe than parental 
authority would be justified in applying to filial disobedience 
or transgression. This is not owing to our being placed in 
a limited sphere of observation, for we have studied domes- 
tic, social, and plantation life, in Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, 
and Florida." 46 

Caroline Hentz's northern birth and extensive literary repu- 
tation were significant factors in assuring a cordial reception 
of her writings in the North. She was the wife of a former 
professor at the University of North Carolina, and she en- 
joyed a reputation as a playwright as well as a novelist. 47 

Her intersectional experience was used by other southern 
writers to advance their cause. When Martha Haines Butt, 
of Norfolk, Virginia, wrote her reply to Harriet Stowe, 
Antifanaticism: A Tale of the South (Philadelphia, 1853), 
she inscribed it to Caroline Hentz as a northerner who had 
lived in the South before she undertook to write about it. 
Stowe, in contrast, she pointed out, had never visited the 
region but had written instead a fanatical, prejudiced, ignor- 
ant fabrication of falsehoods. Butt's description of the South 
was Utopian. 

Mary Eastman's Aunt Phillis's Cabin was likewise obviously 
a reply to Uncle Toms Cabin. It was advertised by Lippin- 

45 Caroline Lee Hentz, Marcus Warland; or a Tale of the South (Philadel- 
phia, 1852), 7. 

46 Caroline Lee Hentz, The Planter's Northern Bride (Philadelphia, 1854), 
I, v. 

47 George Harvey Genzmer, "Caroline Lee Hentz," Dictionary of American 
Biography, VIII, 565-566; Evert A. Duyckinck and George L. Duyckinck, 
Cyclopaedia of American Literature (New York, 1855), II, 486-487. Hentz's 
LovelVs Folly (Cincinnati, 1830) was a well executed novel of about 300 
pages in which she treated sectional prejudices long before the appearance 
of Uncle Tom's Cabin. The Magnolia, II n.s. (1843), 358. 

382 The North Carolina Historical Review 

cott, Grombo, and Company with a picture showing a com- 
fortable frame home with a porch and a happy Negro wom- 
an. 48 Like Butt, she remarked upon the irrational state of the 
northern mind and the fanatical distortions of truth by aboli- 

Schoolcraft strengthened the impression that abolitionists 
were murderous and treasonable fanatics as well as liars by 
relating how Mr. Gorsuch and one of his sons were lynched 
by abolitionists in Pennsylvania when they went there un- 
armed to recover a fugitive slave. 49 She contrasted abolition 
violence with the peaceable conditions of the South, declar- 
ing that she had heard of only one instance in her entire life 
of a southern planter having killed a slave and that in that 
case the killer had committed suicide out of remorse over 
the accident.'' Like many others, she saw in John Brown's 
raid the logical result of northern fanaticism, a planned "mid- 
night assassination of all the inhabitants of Harper's Ferry." 51 

Since the abolitionists had failed to accept her challenge 
to join in a campaign to purchase the slaves and provide 
them with sufficient funds to become self-supporting freed- 
men, she branded them as thieves, "Pharisees," enemies of 
the prosperity of the country, Chartists, warmongers, and 
"anti-slavery latter-day saints" who looked upon God as an 
"old fogey." 52 Those among them who advocated racial 
equality were unchristian because they had departed from 
the teachings of the Bible, unscientific because "the merest 
allusion to anthropology denotes the inferiority of the African 
mind," 53 impractical because their theory required the re- 
moval of all immigration restrictions, opening the United 
States to "a worse barbarianism than Columbus found at the 
discovery of America," 54 and unhistorical because the author 
of the American phrase "born free and equal"— Thomas Jef- 

48 Martha Haines Butt, Anti fanaticism: A Tale of the South (Philadel- 
phia, 1853), appendix, [32]. 

49 Schoolcraft, Letters on the Condition of the African Race (Philadel- 
phia, 1852), 1-34. 

m Schoolcraft, The Black Gauntlet, 82-83. 
C1 Schoolcraft, The Black Gauntlet, 96-97. 

52 Schoolcraft, The Black Gauntlet, 96, 208-212, 376, 562, 565-567. 

53 Schoolcraft, The Black Gauntlet, 241. 

54 Schoolcraft, The Black Gauntlet, 216. 

Cold War Against the Yankees 383 

ferson— obviously had not intended it to apply to all human 
beings, since he had not only continued to keep but had 
actually increased his holdings in slaves. 55 The southern 
slaves even spurned the abolition preachers sent among them 
because these agitators obviously lacked interest in their 
personal welfare and eternal salvation. 56 

Mary Schoolcraft was the wife of Dr. Thomas Rowe School- 
craft, an eminent authority on Indian history. Hence she 
moved in influential social and intellectual circles; and when 
she asserted that there were insuperable racial barriers be- 
tween the whites and the blacks and that "all hybrids are 
subject to the fixed law of moral deterioration that the half- 
breed Indian almost universally develops," 5T her statements 
naturally possessed considerable authority. Furthermore, she 
revealed a wide knowledge of the literature on the subject, 
having served as her husband's amanuensis for many years; 
and she cited Barrow, Hegel, and Dr. Benjamin Coates of 
Philadelphia, in support of her racial thesis. 58 Her best-known 
books were Letters on the Condition of the African Race in 
the United States (1852), and The Black Gauntlet: A Tale 
of Plantation Life in South Carolina (1860). 

Since the Republican party absorbed the abolitionists, it 
naturally became a party of fanatics in the eyes of many 
southern women— a party that would cause the Africanization 
of the South and retrogression. Hence a vote against the Re- 
publican party was a vote for progress. 

Mary Sophie Shaw Homes of New Orleans, writing under 
the pseudonym of Millie Mayfield, elaborated upon this 
theme in a remarkable long poem, Progression, or, The South 
Defended, which was published in the year of Lincoln's 
election. As an evolutionist she brought into play much of the 
most advanced scientific thought of her day to prove that the 
doctrine of racial equality was a violation of the natural 
progressive order and therefore false. She warned that the 
Republicans were as ignorant of science and as fanatically 

65 Schoolcraft, The Black Gauntlet, 561. 

™ Schoolcraft, The Black Gauntlet, 372. 

57 Schoolcraft, The Black Gauntlet, 540-541. 

68 Schoolcraft, The Black Gauntlet, ix, 68-69, 216-218, 405. 

384 The North Carolina Historical Review 

prejudiced as their ancestors, the witch burners of Salem, and 
that if such reactionary fanatics, egalitarians and amalgama- 
tionists gained control of the national government, they 
would bleach the bones of each slaveholder: 59 

"On cold fanaticism's stones, 
The while his blistering flesh would writhe 

and broil 
On Black Republican gridirons!" 

Since many in the lower South were in Homes's state of 
mind by 1860, the election of Lincoln was viewed by them 
as a sufficient cause for secession. President Lincoln's call 
for 75,000 volunteers to force the seceded states back into 
the Union compelled four more southern states into the Con- 
federacy. Then the cold war became a shooting war and 
the nation was plunged into the worst holocaust in its entire 
history. What is thought to be the facts is frequently of 
greater historical importance than the facts themselves to an 
era. Of more current interest, perhaps, is that money shib- 
boleths and thought patterns used in the propaganda cam- 
paigns a century ago still survive both in the North and South 
of today. 

59 Millie Mayfield (pseud.), Progression, or, The South Defended f Cincin- 
nati, 1860), 130. 


By H. H. Cunningham 

The Medical Department of the Regular Army of the 
newly born Confederate States of America was authorized 
by the Provisional Congress at Montgomery, Alabama, on 
February 26, 1861, in "An Act for the Establishment and 
Organization of a General Staff for the Army of the Con- 
federate States of America." This act, passed eight days after 
the inauguration of Jefferson Davis, provided for a medical 
department of one Surgeon General, four surgeons, and six 
assistant surgeons. The War Department was authorized to 
employ additional assistant surgeons should their services 
be required. The Surgeon General was to have the rank of 
colonel. Surgeons and assistant surgeons were to rank as 
majors and captains, respectively. Officers of the Medical De- 
partment, according to the act, could exercise command 
only in their own department. 1 

Two important laws affecting the Army Medical Depart- 
ment were enacted on March 6, 1861. The act of February 
26, 1861, had provided medical officers for the Regular Army. 
The first of the two acts passed on March 6, 1861, entitled 
"An Act to provide for the Public Defense," authorized medi- 
cal officers for the Provisional Army. This law empowered 
the President to appoint one surgeon and one assistant 
surgeon for each regiment when volunteers or militia were 
called into the military service in such numbers that the medi- 
cal officers of the Regular Army could not furnish them 
proper medical attention. Medical officers appointed under 
the authority of this act were "to continue in service only so 
long as their services may be required in connection with 
the militia or volunteers." 2 

1 James M. Matthews (ed.), The Statutes at Large of the Provisional 
Government of the Confederate States of America, from . . . February 8, 
1861, to . . . February 18, 1862 . . . (Richmond, 1864), 38-39. 

3 Matthews, The Statutes at Large of the Provisional Government, 45-46. 


380 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Alamo, 40 Catharine Ann Ware Warfield's The Household of 
Bouverie; or The Elixir of Gold 41 and Marion Harland's 
Alone. 42 Louisa McCord was disturbed by the growth of the 
foreign doctrines of socialism in the North and the conversion 
thereto of prominent Americans, among whom she included 
Horace Greeley and Albert Brisbane. 43 

In Mary Schoolcraft's opinion abolitionism was an un-Amer- 
ican movement, promoted by stockholders of the British East 
India Company to cripple southern agriculture and to gain 
for India the supremacy in producing cotton and tobacco. 
She warned that if this British scheme should succeed, Rus- 
sia probably would seize India and make English cotton 
manufacturers dependent upon its caprices for their supply 
of raw materials. Schoolcraft asserted, moreover, that Euro- 
peans and foreigners in the United States were agitating the 
slavery issue to keep the United States from becoming a 
world power, and quoted a speech by Senator Clingman of 
North Carolina as evidence of the discovery of such an in- 
ternational plot to break the American Union. 44 

Naturally Southern women did not allow Harriet Beecher 
Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin to go unchallenged. They replied 
by denying that southern life was as cruel as Mrs. Stowe de- 
scribed it, by enlarging upon the dangers of Africanization, 
by emphasizing the advantages of slavery to the slave, to 
the South, and to the nation, and by reiterating the evils of 
northern life and character. 

Perhaps the first reply to Uncle Tom's Cabin was Carolina 
Lee Hentz's Marcus Warland; or a Tale of the South in 1852. 
Except for attacks upon the untruthfulness of fanatical aboli- 
tionists, Mrs. Hentz contented herself with a description of 
life in the South as she had seen it in many parts of the black 
belt during twenty years of residence therein, believing ap- 

40 Augusta Jane Evans Wilson, Inez: A Tale of the Alamo (New York, 
1864), [7], 34. Originally published by Harpers in 1855. John D. Wade, 
"Augusta Jane Evans," Dictionary of American Biography, VI, 195. 

41 Catherine Ann Ware Warfield, The Household of Bouverie; or The 
Elixir of Gold (2 vols., New York, 1860), I, 46-48, 55. 

^Marion Harland, Alone (New York: Carleton, 1876; originally publish- 
ed in 1854), 306-307. 

43 L. S. M. [Louisa S. McCord], "The Right to Labor," The Southern Quar- 
terly Review, XVI (October, 1849), 145. 

44 Schoolcraft, The Black Gauntlet, 215, 403. 

Cold War Against the Yankees 381 

parently that such a first-hand account would destroy the 
influence of abolitionists among the northern masses. 45 In a 
second book on the subject, The Planters Northern Bride, 
she reminded her readers that she was a native of the North 
who had lived in the South long enough really to understand 
the region. Of slavery she wrote, "One thing is certain, and 
if we were on judicial oath we would repeat it, that during 
our residence in the South, we have never witnessed one 
scene of cruelty or oppression, nor beheld a chain or manacle, 
or the infliction of a punishment more severe than parental 
authority would be justified in applying to filial disobedience 
or transgression. This is not owing to our being placed in 
a limited sphere of observation, for we have studied domes- 
tic, social, and plantation life, in Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, 
and Florida." 46 

Caroline Hentz's northern birth and extensive literary repu- 
tation were significant factors in assuring a cordial reception 
of her writings in the North. She was the wife of a former 
professor at the University of North Carolina, and she en- 
joyed a reputation as a playwright as well as a novelist. 47 

Her intersectional experience was used by other southern 
writers to advance their cause. When Martha Haines Butt, 
of Norfolk, Virginia, wrote her reply to Harriet Stowe, 
Antifanaticism: A Tale of the South (Philadelphia, 1853), 
she inscribed it to Caroline Hentz as a northerner who had 
lived in the South before she undertook to write about it. 
Stowe, in contrast, she pointed out, had never visited the 
region but had written instead a fanatical, prejudiced, ignor- 
ant fabrication of falsehoods. Butt's description of the South 
was Utopian. 

Mary Eastman's Aunt Phillis's Cabin was likewise obviously 
a reply to Uncle Tom's Cabin. It was advertised by Lippin- 

45 Caroline Lee Hentz, Marcus War land; or a Tale of the South (Philadel- 
phia, 1852), 7. 

46 Caroline Lee Hentz, The Planter's Northern Bride (Philadelphia, 1854), 
I, v. 

47 George Harvey Genzmer, "Caroline Lee Hentz," Dictionary of American 
Biography, VIII, 565-566; Evert A. Duyckinck and George L. Duyckinck, 
Cyclopaedia of American Literature (New York, 1855), II, 486-487. Hentz's 
LovelVs Folly (Cincinnati, 1830) was a well executed novel of about 300 
pages in which she treated sectional prejudices long before the appearance 
of Uncle Tom's Cabin. The Magnolia, II n.s. (1843), 358. 

382 The North Carolina Historical Review 

cott, Grombo, and Company with a picture showing a com- 
fortable frame home with a porch and a happy Negro wom- 
an. 48 Like Butt, she remarked upon the irrational state of the 
northern mind and the fanatical distortions of truth by aboli- 

Schoolcraft strengthened the impression that abolitionists 
were murderous and treasonable fanatics as well as liars by 
relating how Mr. Gorsuch and one of his sons were lynched 
by abolitionists in Pennsylvania when they went there un- 
armed to recover a fugitive slave. 49 She contrasted abolition 
violence with the peaceable conditions of the South, declar- 
ing that she had heard of only one instance in her entire life 
of a southern planter having killed a slave and that in that 
case the killer had committed suicide out of remorse over 
the accident.'" Like many others, she saw in John Brown's 
raid the logical result of northern fanaticism, a planned "mid- 
night assassination of all the inhabitants of Harper's Ferry." 51 

Since the abolitionists had failed to accept her challenge 
to join in a campaign to purchase the slaves and provide 
them with sufficient funds to become self-supporting freed- 
men, she branded them as thieves, "Pharisees," enemies of 
the prosperity of the country, Chartists, warmongers, and 
"anti-slavery latter-day saints" who looked upon God as an 
"old fogey." 52 Those among them who advocated racial 
equality were unchristian because they had departed from 
the teachings of the Bible, unscientific because "the merest 
allusion to anthropology denotes the inferiority of the African 
mind," 5B impractical because their theory required the re- 
moval of all immigration restrictions, opening the United 
States to "a worse barbarianism than Columbus found at the 
discovery of America," 54 and unhistorical because the author 
of the American phrase "born free and equal"— Thomas Jef- 

48 Martha Haines Butt, Antifanaticism: A Tale of the South (Philadel- 
phia, 1853), appendix, [32]. 

49 Schoolcraft, Letters on the Condition of the African Race (Philadel- 
phia, 1852), 1-34. 

50 Schoolcraft, The Black Gauntlet, 82-83. 

51 Schoolcraft, The Black Gauntlet, 96-97. 

52 Schoolcraft, The Black Gauntlet, 96, 208-212, 376, 562, 565-567. 

53 Schoolcraft, The Black Gauntlet, 241. 

54 Schoolcraft, The Black Gauntlet, 216. 

Cold War Against the Yankees 383 

ferson— obviously had not intended it to apply to all human 
beings, since he had not only continued to keep but had 
actually increased his holdings in slaves. 55 The southern 
slaves even spurned the abolition preachers sent among them 
because these agitators obviously lacked interest in their 
personal welfare and eternal salvation. 56 

Mary Schoolcraft was the wife of Dr. Thomas Rowe School- 
craft, an eminent authority on Indian history. Hence she 
moved in influential social and intellectual circles; and when 
she asserted that there were insuperable racial barriers be- 
tween the whites and the blacks and that "all hybrids are 
subject to the fixed law of moral deterioration that the half- 
breed Indian almost universally develops," 57 her statements 
naturally possessed considerable authority. Furthermore, she 
revealed a wide knowledge of the literature on the subject, 
having served as her husband's amanuensis for many years; 
and she cited Barrow, Hegel, and Dr. Benjamin Coates of 
Philadelphia, in support of her racial thesis. 58 Her best-known 
books were Letters on the Condition of the African Race in 
the United States (1852), and The Black Gauntlet: A Tale 
of Plantation Life in South Carolina ( 1860 ) . 

Since the Republican party absorbed the abolitionists, it 
naturally became a party of fanatics in the eyes of many 
southern women— a party that would cause the Africanization 
of the South and retrogression. Hence a vote against the Re- 
publican party was a vote for progress. 

Mary Sophie Shaw Homes of New Orleans, writing under 
the pseudonym of Millie Mayfield, elaborated upon this 
theme in a remarkable long poem, Progression, or, The South 
Defended, which was published in the year of Lincoln's 
election. As an evolutionist she brought into play much of the 
most advanced scientific thought of her day to prove that the 
doctrine of racial equality was a violation of the natural 
progressive order and therefore false. She warned that the 
Republicans were as ignorant of science and as fanatically 

55 Schoolcraft, The Black Gauntlet, 561. 

56 Schoolcraft, The Black Gauntlet, 372. 

57 Schoolcraft, The Black Gauntlet, 540-541. 

58 Schoolcraft, The Black Gauntlet, ix, 68-69, 216-218, 405. 

384 The North Carolina Historical Review 

prejudiced as their ancestors, the witch burners of Salem, and 
that if such reactionary fanatics, egalitarians and amalgama- 
tionists gained control of the national government, they 
would bleach the bones of each slaveholder: 59 

"On cold fanaticism's stones, 
The while his blistering flesh would writhe 

and broil 
On Black Republican gridirons!" 

Since many in the lower South were in Homes's state of 
mind by 1860, the election of Lincoln was viewed by them 
as a sufficient cause for secession. President Lincoln's call 
for 75,000 volunteers to force the seceded states back into 
the Union compelled four more southern states into the Con- 
federacy. Then the cold war became a shooting war and 
the nation was plunged into the worst holocaust in its entire 
history. What is thought to be the facts is frequently of 
greater historical importance than the facts themselves to an 
era. Of more current interest, perhaps, is that money shib- 
boleths and thought patterns used in the propaganda cam- 
paigns a century ago still survive both in the North and South 
of today. 

59 Millie Mayfield (pseud.), Progression, or, The South Defended (Cincin- 
nati, 1860), 130. 


By H. H. Cunningham 

The Medical Department of the Regular Army of the 
newly born Confederate States of America was authorized 
by the Provisional Congress at Montgomery, Alabama, on 
February 26, 1861, in "An Act for the Establishment and 
Organization of a General Staff for the Army of the Con- 
federate States of America." This act, passed eight days after 
the inauguration of Jefferson Davis, provided for a medical 
department of one Surgeon General, four surgeons, and six 
assistant surgeons. The War Department was authorized to 
employ additional assistant surgeons should their services 
be required. The Surgeon General was to have the rank of 
colonel. Surgeons and assistant surgeons were to rank as 
majors and captains, respectively. Officers of the Medical De- 
partment, according to the act, could exercise command 
only in their own department. 1 

Two important laws affecting the Army Medical Depart- 
ment were enacted on March 6, 1861. The act of February 
26, 1861, had provided medical officers for the Regular Army. 
The first of the two acts passed on March 6, 1861, entitled 
"An Act to provide for the Public Defense," authorized medi- 
cal officers for the Provisional Army. This law empowered 
the President to appoint one surgeon and one assistant 
surgeon for each regiment when volunteers or militia were 
called into the military service in such numbers that the medi- 
cal officers of the Regular Army could not furnish them 
proper medical attention. Medical officers appointed under 
the authority of this act were "to continue in service only so 
long as their services may be required in connection with 
the militia or volunteers." 2 

1 James M. Matthews (ed.), The Statutes at Large of the Provisional 
Government of the Confederate States of America, from . . . February 8, 
1861, to . . . February 18, 1862 . . . (Richmond, 1864), 38-39. 

3 Matthews, The Statutes at Large of the Provisional Government, 45-46. 


386 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The second measure concerning the Medical Department 
enacted by Congress on March 6, 1861, established a pay 
scale for army medical officers. The Surgeon General was 
to receive an annual salary of $3,000. A surgeon's pay ranged 
from $162 to $200 a month; assistant surgeon's from $110 to 
$150 a month. The exact pay received by surgeons and 
assistant surgeons depended on length of service in either 
grade. In addition to the base pay certain allowances, such 
as fuel and quarters, were granted. 3 Only one important 
change concerning pay was made in this law. On January 
23, 1865, Congress repealed so much of the earlier bill as 
affected the Surgeon General's pay and allowances, and 
enacted that thereafter his pay and allowances would be 
equivalent to the officers of his rank serving in the cavalry. 4 
The pay of private physicians employed by contract varied 
considerably, depending in part on whether or not they gave 
all of their time to the service. It was ultimately decided that 
contract physicians who gave all of their time to the service 
would receive the pay and allowances of assistant surgeons. 5 
The pay and allowances of dentists amounted to about $10 
per diem. 6 

The growing military establishment and large-scale epi- 
demics of measles, malaria, typhoid fever, and other camp 
diseases during the early months of the war led to further 
increase in the number of medical officers authorized by Con- 
gress. On April 27, 1861, Leroy Pope Walker, Secretary of 
War, recommended, in a communication to President Davis 
that the army medical staff be increased. 7 Acting upon Secre- 

3 Matthews, The Statutes at Large of the Provisional Government, 49. 

4 Charles W. Ramsdell (ed.), Laws and Joint Resolutions of the Last Ses- 
sion of the Confederate Congress (November 7, 186^-March 18, 1865) To- 
gether with the Secret Acts of Previous Congresses (Durham, North Caro- 
lina, 1941), 22. 

5 Regulations for the Medical Department of the Confederate States Army 
(Richmond, 1861), 9; The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Of- 
ficial Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 129 vols, and index, 
(Washington, 1880-1901), Ser. IV, Vol. Ill, 623; S. P. Moore to E. S. Gail- 
lard, November 21, 1862, Letters, Orders, and Circulars Sent, Surgeon 
General's Office, Chapter VI, Vol. 739, War Department Collection of Con- 
federate Records (The National Archives, Washington, D. C). 

°W. A. Carrington to S. P. Moore, January 30, 1865. Letters Sent and 
Received, Medical Director's Office, Richmond, 1864-1865, Ch. VI, Vol. 364, 
WD Coll. of CR (The National Archives). 

7 Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Ser. IV, Vol. I, 

Confederate Medical Department 387 

tary Walker's advice the Congress, on May 16, 1861, author- 
ized the addition of six surgeons and fourteen assistant 
surgeons to the Medical Department of the Regular Army. 8 
And on August 14, 1861, the President was empowered "to 
appoint in the provisional army as many surgeons and assist- 
ant surgeons for the various hospitals of the Confederacy, as 
may be necessary." 9 

The organization of the Confederate States Navy was 
authorized by Congress on March 16, 1861. The act of organi- 
zation provided for the appointment of five surgeons and 
five assistant surgeons. Medical officers appointed by author- 
ity of this act became, of course, officers in the permanent 
naval establishment. 10 Provision for temporary appointments 
was made by Congress in a bill approved on December 24, 
1861. This measure empowered the President to appoint 
thirty additional assistant surgeons. Such appointments were 
"to be made from the navy and from civil life, as the President 
may see fit, and to terminate at the end of the war." n An 
increase of medical officers in the Regular Navy was author- 
ized by an act of April 21, 1862, following the expansion 
of naval activity. This law authorized a permanent medical 
staff of twenty-two surgeons, fifteen passed assistant surgeons, 
and thirty assistant surgeons. 12 The need for Navy medical 
officers continued, however, and on May 1, 1863, Congress, 
in "An Act to create a Provisional Navv of the Confederate 
States," empowered the President to appoint in the Provisional 
Navy as many additional medical officers as the public service 
required. 13 

The pay scale of the Navy's medical officers was established 

8 Matthews, Statutes at Large of the Provisional Government, 115. 

9 Matthews, Statutes at Large of the Provisional Government, 176. 

10 Matthews, Statutes at Large of the Provisional Gove?*nment, 70. 

11 Matthews, Statutes at Large of the Provisional Government, 229. 

32 James M. Matthews (ed.), Public Laws of the Confederate States of 
America . . . First Session of the First Congress; 1862 (Richmond, 1862), 

13 James M. Matthews (ed.), Public Laws of the Confederate States of 
America . . . Third Session of the First Congress; 1863 (Richmond, 1863), 
161. The word "regular" instead of "provisional" was used in this act, but 
it was undoubtedly inserted through error. On June 14, 1864, an amendment 
caused the proper word to be used. James M. Matthews (ed.), Public Laws 
of the Confederate States of America . . . First Session of the Second Con- 
gress: 186 k (Richmond, 1864), 277. 

388 The North Carolina Historical Review 

by Congress in acts of March 16, 1861, and September 26, 
1862. Fleet surgeons were to receive an annual pay of $3,500. 
A surgeon's pay for the first five years after the date of his 
commission was set at either $2,200 or $2,000 annually, 
depending on whether he was or was not on sea duty. 14 For 
service afloat passed assistant surgeons were to receive a 
yearly pay of $1,700; for shore or other duty they would 
receive $1,500, and, when on leave or awaiting orders, their 
yearly pay would be $1,200. 15 The annual stipend of assistant 
surgeons was to be either $1,250 or $1,050. 16 

The proper uniform to be worn by the army medical officer 
was carefully explained in regulations. The officer's tunic of 
gray cloth, known as cadet gray, was to have black facings 
with a stand up collar. His "trowsers" were to be made of 
dark blue cloth, and [they] were to have "a black velvet 
stripe, one inch and a quarter in width, with a gold cord on 
each edge of the stripe." A black cravat, ankle or Jefferson 
boots, white gloves, a star on the tunic collar, a sash of "green 
silk net," and a cap on which the letters "M.S." were em- 
broidered in gold completed the medical officer's prescribed 
dress. 17 Few were ever able to clothe themselves in such 

Several unsuccessful efforts were made during the course 
of the war to alter the overall organization of the Medical 
Department as set forth above. On August 22, 1861, President 
Davis returned to Congress for reconsideration "An Act to 
authorize the appointment of an additional Assistant Surgeon 
to each regiment in the Army of the Confederate States." The 
President took the position that the expenditure which the 
proposal would require was unnecessary, inasmuch as existing 
legislative enactments were adequate to meet the needs of the 
service. The President wrote: 

I am aware that there have been causes of complaint in re- 
lation to neglect of our sick and wounded soldiers; but this, it 

14 Matthews, Statutes at Large of the Provisional Government, 71-72. 

15 Matthews, Public Laws of the Confederate States of America . . . Second 
Session of the First Congress; 1862, 61. 

16 Matthews, Statutes at Large of the Provisional Government, 72. 

17 Uniform and Dress of the Army of the Confederate States (Richmond, 
1861), 3-4; Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Ser. IV, 
Vol. I, 369-373. 

Confederate Medical Department 389 

is believed, arises not so much from an insufficiency in the 
number of the surgeons and assistant surgeons as from inat- 
tention or want of qualification, and I am endeavoring to apply 
the proper remedy by organizing a board of examiners, so as 
to ascertain who are the officers really to blame, and replace 
them by others more competent and efficient. 18 

Another proposal, "An Act to reorganize and promote the 
efficiency of the Medical Department of the Provisional 
Army," received the veto of the President on October 13, 
1862. The bill was carelessly framed and should have been 
blocked. The measure provided, for example, "that the rank, 
pay, and allowances of a brigadier general in the Provisional 
Army of the Confederate States be, and the same are hereby, 
conferred on the Surgeon General of the same." As the Presi- 
dent pointed out, however, there was no such officer as the 
Surgeon General of the Provisional Army and no "Medical 
Department of the Provisional Army." Sections 3 and 4 of the 
bill required the assignment of additional surgeons and 
assistant surgeons, but no authority was given for the in- 
creased number. The President's chief objections to the bill 
were directed against its fifth section. The latter provided for 
an infirmary corps of fifty men for each brigade. This corps 
would aid in the care of sick and wounded and was to be 
officered by one first lieutenant, one second lieutenant, two 
sergeants, and two corporals. In his veto message President 
Davis blasted the proposal and asserted that it was inadequate 
as "no provision whatever is made for any additional medical 
officers, nor does the act provide for any control by medical 
officers over these infirmary corps, nor assign to these corps 
any fixed duties." 19 

The final reorganization proposals to receive serious con- 
gressional consideration originated in April, 1863. A House 
bill, approved by its Committee on the Medical Department, 


James D. Richardson (comp.), A Compilation of the Messages and Pa- 
pers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence 1861- 
1865, 2 vols. (Nashville, Tennessee, 1905), I, 130. See also Journal of the 
Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865, 7 vols. (Wash- 
ington, 1904-1905), I, 390. 

19 Richardson, Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, I, 263-265 ; Jour- 
nal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865, V, 
557-558; Southern Historical Society Papers (Richmond, 1876-1943), XLVII 
(1930), 39. 

390 The North Carolina Historical Review 

provided, first, that the Surgeon General be given the rank, 
pay and allowances of a brigadier general in the Provisional 
Army of the Confederate States. The second proposition 
in the measure was for the appointment in the Provisional 
Army of two assistant surgeons general, as many as ten medi- 
cal inspectors charged with supervising hospitals and camp 
sanitary conditions, and as many surgeons as the President 
might direct. The assistant surgeons general and the medical 
inspectors were to enjoy the rank, pay, and allowances of a 
colonel of cavalry. Surgeons were to receive the rank, pay, 
and allowances of either a lieutenant colonel or a major of 
cavalry, depending on their duty assignment. The House Bill 
also proposed the establishment in the Provisional Army of 
an infirmary corps of medical officers "in number not to exceed 
one surgeon for each brigade and one assistant surgeon for 
each regiment, who shall not be attached to the organization 
of troops, but shall serve in the field, or in field hospitals, 
under such regulations as the Secretary of War shall pre- 
scribe." The bill provided further that the appointment of 
Regular Army officers to offices created by the act would not 
affect their position in the Regular Army and that the rank 
conferred by the bill carried with it no authority to command 
outside of the Medical Department. 20 Thus did the House of 
Representatives endeavor to meet the chief executive's objec- 
tions to the reorganization bill of October, 1862. The measure 
was approved by a vote of forty-four to twenty-seven in the 
lower chamber, 21 but was blocked in the Senate. 22 A Senate 
reorganization measure, not so comprehensive as the House 
bill, passed that body on April 11, 1863, 23 but was not con- 
curred in by the House. 24 A bill to reorganize the Medical 
Corps of the Confederate States Navy, presented in the 
Senate on January 28, 1863, was referred to the Committee on 

20 Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861- 
1865, VI, 324; Southern Historical Society Papers, XLIX (1943), 121-122. 

21 Southern Historical Society Papers, XLIX (1943), 122. 

22 Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861- 
1865, III, 379. 

23 Journal of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865, III, 279; 
Southern Historical Society Papers, XLIX (1943), 128-129. 

21 Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861- 
1865, VI, 463. 

Confederate Medical Department 391 

Naval Affairs. 25 On March 13, 1863, it was reported out and 
laid on the table. 26 No other such proposal was made during 
the life of the Confederate Congress. 

The Surgeon General, according to available records, seems 
to have lent his support to the reorganization proposals of 
April, 1863, and to have been disappointed upon the inability 
of the lawmakers to fashion a comprehensive measure for 
the President's signature. 27 The judgment of the Confederate 
Army and Navy surgeons themselves on the organization of 
the Medical Department was stated succinctly in their journal 
early in 1864: 

Although the organization of the medical department is not 
as complete as it is believed it could have been, had the ideas 
and suggestions of its experienced presiding officer met with 
more favorable consideration, still, in view of the exactness 
with which its varied duties have been defined and systematized, 
it may be confidently asserted that, in the full performance of 
these duties by its members, the objects for which it was in- 
stituted have been, if not perfectly, yet, to a very great extent, 
satisfactorily accomplished. 28 

The structure of the medical service, as it existed late in 
1864, is impressive. Six medical officers, including the Surgeon 
General, were on duty in the Surgeon General's office. Eigh- 
teen surgeons were serving as medical directors in the field 
and supervising the work of medical officers there. There 
were also eight medical directors of hospitals, six field medi- 
cal inspectors, and seven medical inspectors of hospitals. 
Five Army Medical Boards were engaged in the examina- 
tion of applicants for appointment as assistant surgeons and 
of assistant surgeons for promotion. The number of princi- 
pal hospitals in the various states was as follows: Virginia— 
39, North Carolina-21, South Carolina-12, Georgia-50, 
Alabama— 23, Mississippi— 3, Florida— 4, and Tennessee— 2. 

23 Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861- 
1865, III, 37; Southern Historical Society Papers, XLVII (1930), 219. 

26 Journal. of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861- 
1865, III, 164. 

27 Samuel P. Moore, "Address of the President of the Association of Medi- 
cal Officers of the Confederate States Army and Navy," The Southern 
Practitioner (Nashville, 1879-1918), XXXI (October, 1909), 494. 

28 Confederate States Medical and Surgical Journal (Richmond, 1864- 
1865), I (February, 1864), 26. 

392 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Medical laboratories, with a surgeon in charge of each, were 
located at Lincolnton, North Carolina; Tyler, Texas; Macon, 
Georgia; Augusta, Georgia; and Columbia, South Carolina. 
Thirty-two medical purveyors, employed in the procure- 
ment of medical and hospital supplies, were located through- 
out the Confederacy. 29 The Navy's Bureau of Medicine and 
Surgery was located in Richmond with Surgeon William A. 
W. Spots wood of Virginia in charge. There were naval hos- 
pitals at Richmond, Charleston, Wilmington, Savannah, and 
Mobile. 30 

The most important medical officer in the Confederate 
service was, of course, the Surgeon General of the Confed- 
erate States Army. According to army regulations the Sur- 
geon General was "charged with the administrative details 
of the medical department, the government of hospitals, the 
regulation of the duties of surgeons and assistant surgeons, 
and the appointment of acting medical officers, when needed, 
for local or detached service." He was also charged with 
the issuance of directives "relating to the professional duties 
of medical officers." 31 Many important papers of the Medical 
Department were burned when the buildings in Richmond 
that housed the Surgeon General's office were destroyed by 
fire during the fall of the city. This loss has deprived those 
interested in knowing how effectively the Surgeon General 
and his staff functioned of much pertinent material. 

The first Surgeon General of the Confederate States Army 
was David C. DeLeon, a surgeon in the "old army." De- 
Leon, a resident of Mobile, Alabama, was ordered to assume 
the duties of "acting Surgeon General" on May 6, 1861. 32 

29 Confederate States Medical and Surgical Journal, I (September, 1864), 
152; I (October, 1864), 176; I (November, 1864), 200. 

30 Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of 
Rebellion, 30 vols, and index (Washington, 1894-1927), Ser. II, Vol. II, 761; 
J. Thomas Scharf , History of the Confederate States Navy from Its Organi- 
zation to the Surrender of Its Last Vessel (New York, 1887), 30. 

31 Regulations for the Medical Department of the Confederate States 
Army, 3; Regulations for the Army of the Confederate States, 1863 (Rich- 
mond, 1863), 236. 

32 Special Orders of the Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, Con- 
federate States, 1861 (Washington, 18—?), 18; E. Robert Wiese, "Life and 
Times of Samuel Preston Moore, Surgeon-General of the Confederate 
States of America," Southern Medical Journal (Nashville and Birming- 
ham, 1908- ), XXIII (October, 1930), 917. 

Confederate Medical Department 393 

His occupancy of the Surgeon General's office, consisting of 
only one room at that time, was of brief duration. On July 
12, 1861, orders were issued that relieved DeLeon and or- 
dered Charles H. Smith of the office staff to take "temporary 
charge of the medical bureau." 33 A little over two weeks later, 
on July 30, 1861, the man who was to preside over the Medi- 
cal Department for the duration of the war, Samuel Preston 
Moore, was assigned to duty as "acting Surgeon General." 
Moore went to work immediately. A few weeks after his ap- 
pointment he advised the Secretary of the Treasury, who 
was in charge of arrangements for establishing the public 
offices in Richmond, that it was "impossible to transact the 
business of this bureau ( connected most intimately with the 
welfare of the Army in the field ) in one single room, crowd- 
ed to over-flowing with employees, soldiers, and visitors on 
business." 35 On November 29, 1861, the President sent 
Moore's name to the Senate for approval as Surgeon General. 
The nomination was confirmed on December 13, 1861. 36 

Samuel Preston Moore, Surgeon General of the Confed- 
erate States Army, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, 
in the year 1813. 37 His father and mother were Stephen West 
Moore and Eleanor Screven (Gilbert) Moore. Samuel was 
a lineal descendant of Dr. Mordecai Moore who came to 
America as Lord Baltimore's physician, and the Moore fami- 
ly enjoyed a high social standing. 

Moore acquired his early education in Charleston, and 
was graduated from the Medical College of South Carolina 
on March 8, 1834. A year later he received an appointment 

83 Special Orders of the Adjutant and Inspector GeneraVs Office, Con- 
federate States, 1861, 50. 

34 Special Orders of the Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, Con- 
federate States, 1861, 59. 

35 S. P. Moore to C. G. Memminger, September 11, 1861. Letters of the 
Secretary of the Treasury, Chapter X, Accession 212, General Records of 
the Department of the Treasury (The National Archives). 

36 Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861- 
1865, I, 495, 568. 

37 For this sketch of the life of Samuel Preston Moore I have drawn 
liberally from the following: Percy M. Ashburn, "Samuel Preston Moore," 
Allen Johnson, Dumas Malone, and Harris E. Starr (eds.), Dictionary of 
American Biography, 21 vols, and index (New York, 1928-1945), XIII, 137; 
James Evelyn Pilcher, The Surgeon Generals of the Army of the United 
States of America (Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 1905), 95-98; and Samuel E. 
Lewis, "Samuel Preston Moore, M.D., Surgeon General of the Confederate 
States," The Southern Practitioner, XXIII (August, 1901), 381-386. 

394 The North Carolina Historical Review 

as assistant surgeon in the United States Army and entered 
upon an extended tour of duty in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, 
and Florida. It was while he was stationed in Florida, at 
Camp Barrancas, that he married a daughter of Major Jacob 
Brown in June, 1845. 

Moore saw service in the Mexican War and received his 
surgeoncy while on duty at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, on 
April 30, 1849. Between the years 1849 and 1860 he served 
duty tours at Fort Laramie, Oregon; San Antonio and 
Brownsville, Texas; Governor's Island, New York; and the 
United States Military Academy. In April 1860 Moore was 
ordered to New Orleans as medical purveyor. 

The secession of South Carolina on December 20, 1860, 
brought Moore's service in the United States Army to a close. 
Loyal to his state, he resigned his commission and entered 
upon the practice of medicine in Little Rock, Arkansas. 
Then he was called to organize the Medical Department of 
the Southern Confederacy. 

The new Surgeon General soon had the Medical Depart- 
ment operating efficiently. Examinations were prescribed to 
weed out incompetent personnel. The competent were as- 
signed to key positions, and a reporting system intended to 
inform the Surgeon General of all pertinent medical facts 
and problems was instituted. Medical societies and the pub- 
lication of professional journals and books were suspended 
early in the war. 38 Moore saw the need for discussion and 
publication and attempted to meet it. In August, 1863, he 
organized the Association of Army and Navy Surgeons of 
the Confederate States, "the oldest American military medi- 
cal society." 39 He became its first president. The Association 
met regularly and heard reports on medical and surgical 
subjects proposed by its members. 40 

In the realm of publication Moore encouraged the publi- 
cation of the Confederate States Medical and Surgical Jour- 

88 See Isaac C. Harrison, "A Historical Sketch of the Medical Society of 
Virginia," Virginia Medical Monthly (Richmond, 1874- ), LIX (December, 
1932), 510; The North Carolina Standard, January 15, 1862. 

89 Edgar E. Hume, Victories of Army Medicine (Philadelphia, 1943), 22. 
40 The last meeting of the Association was held on March 18, 1865. 

Records of the Association of Army and Navy Surgeons (Confederate 
Museum, Richmond). 

Confederate Medical Department 395 

nal (January, 1864-February, 1865), ably edited by James 
Brown McCaw. 41 Well-written editorials, articles on their 
medical and surgical experiences by Confederate surgeons, 
and analyses of articles in foreign journals characterized this 
fine periodical. Despite numerous difficulties its editor re- 
ported in May, 1864, that the journal had "attained a larger 
circulation than was ever reached before by any Southern 
Medical periodical and promises ... to surpass the most san- 
guine expectations of its friends." 42 The Surgeon General 
also prompted the publication and distribution to his medi- 
cal personnel of two highly useful books: Resources of the 
Southern Fields and Forests, Medical, Economical, and Ag- 
ricultural, written at Moore's request by Francis Peyre Porch- 
er of South Carolina, and A Manual of Miltiary Surgery, pre- 
pared by a group of surgeons working under Moore's direc- 
tion. Both were published in 1863. The Surgeon General 
hoped that Porcher's book would enable his medical officers 
to supply many of their drug needs through the preparation 
of medicines from plants indigenous to the southern states. 
The surgical guide, he hoped, would improve operative pro- 

One of the chief distinctions claimed for Surgeon General 
Moore is that he introduced the hut or one story pavilion 
hospital, the forerunner of the modern general hospital. In 
the pavilion type hospital arrangement the sick and wound- 
ed were not lumped together in large buildings, but were 
treated in a number of huts. Each hut thus became an in- 
dependent ward housing from twenty-five to fifty patients. 
A general hospital consisted of from forty-five to sixty huts. 43 

The end of the war brought Moore's active professional 
career to a close although he did serve as first President of 
the Association of Medical Officers of the Army and Navy 
of the Confederacy, organized in 1874, and delivered the 

41 Percy M. Ashburn, "James Brown McCaw," Dictionary of American 
Biography, XI, 575-576. 

42 Confederate States Medical and Surgical Journal, I, (May, 1864), 78. 

43 Charles W. Chancellor, "A Memoir of the Late Samuel Preston Moore," 
The Southern Practitioner, XXV (November, 1903), 637; Wiese, "Life and 
Times of Samuel Preston Moore," Southern Medical Journal, XXIII (Octo- 
ber, 1930), 920; Moore, "Address," The Southern Practitioner, XXXI (Octo- 
ber, 1909), 491-497. 

396 The North Carolina Historical Review 

presidential address in 1875. He remained in Richmond, in- 
teresting himself in agricultural and educational matters, un- 
til his death on May 31, 1889. 44 

The ability of the Confederate Surgeon General seems 
not to have been questioned. He was intelligent, thorough, 
impartial, but unfortunately, perhaps, addicted to the for- 
mality of army discipline. One of Moore's admirers wrote of 
"his great work as an organizer, his remarkable executive 
ability, fitness for the high position, and his official work." 45 
"The Surgeon General," reported William A. Carrington, 
Medical Director of Virginia's hospitals, "attends to all 
papers coming to his office in regular rotation, and neglects 
none." 46 The praise of still another contemporary was even 
more sweeping as he asked "where, or under what govern- 
ment so complicated and extensive as this, was there ever 
a department of the public service characterized by such 
order and precision? Every paper emanating from that office 
was a model of despatch and neatness." 47 

Moore's relationship with the officers of his department 
was extremely formal and conducted in a true military man- 
ner. According to a fellow officer "the Emperior of the Rus- 
sians was not more autocratic. He commanded and it was 
done. He stood in ten or em over the surgeon, whatever his 
rank or wherever he might be— from Richmond to the trans- 
Mississippi, and to the extremest verge of the Confederate 
States." 48 Moore insisted that subordinates conform to the 

44 The Association of Medical Officers of the Army and Navy of the Con- 
federacy, in annual session at Memphis, 1909, proposed a monument to com- 
memorate Moore's work. The Southern Practitioner, XXXIII (1911), 203- 
212. The movement was kept alive and during the annual meeting held in 
Richmond in 1915 it was stated that "the outlook was bright for a suc- 
cessful outcome of the plan to erect a monument to Dr. Samuel Preston 
Moore . . ., the medical officers of both branches of the service, and to the 
women who served as nurses." Virginia Medical Semi-Monthly, XX (June 
11, 1915), 127. No such monument was ever erected. 

45 John R. Gildersleeve, "History of Chimborazo Hospital, Richmond, Va., 
and Its Medical Officers During 1861-1865," The Virgina Medical Semi- 
Monthly, IX (July 8, 1904), 153. 

w W. A. Carrington to J. P. Fitzgerald. Letters Sent and Received, Medi- 
cal Directors' Office, Richmond, 1864-1865, Chapter VI, Vol. 364, WD Coll. 
of CR. 

47 Francis Peyne Porcher, "Confederate Surgeons," Southern Historical 
Society Papers, XVII (1889), 16. 

48 Porcher, "Confederate Surgeons," Southern Historical Society Papers, 
XVII, 16. 

Confederate Medical Department 397 

rules of military correspondence in their messages to his 
office. 49 He complained of the many leaves of absence grant- 
ed to surgeons and failed to understand why medical officers 
serving in general hospitals even wanted them. 50 Medical 
officers were warned that charges would be preferred against 
those who failed to comply with regulations, 51 and on one 
occasion the Surgeon General ordered a medical director to 
arrest all the members of an examining board and prefer 
charges against them because they had committed a minor 
infraction of orders. 52 Moore's extreme formality sometimes 
offended those with tender sensibilities, but even these ac- 
knowledged his ability. "He was a man of great brusqueness 
of manner," wrote one such, "and gave offense to many who 
called on him, whatever their business, and without any re- 
gard to their station or rank, though he was an able executive 
officer, and I believe an efficient and impartial one." 53 Under- 
neath his rough exterior there was a more appealing and 
sympathetic side as is evidenced by his correspondence with 
the mothers of hospitalized soldiers. At times, upon their 
request, he investigated individual cases and reassured the 
mothers as best he could. 54 

The number of medical officers that served in the Army 
and Navy of the Confederacy has received a reasonable 
amount of inquiry. Joseph Jones, one of the ablest Confed- 
erate surgeons, estimated the total to be something less than 
3,000. Only 73 medical officers, he thought, saw service in 
the Navy. 55 At the Nineteenth Annual Meeting of the Asso- 

49 S. P. Moore to Richard Potts, November 19, 1861. Letters, Orders, and 
Circulars Sent, Surgeon General's Office, Chapter VI, Vol. 739, WD Coll. of 

50 S. P. Moore to W. A. Carrington, April 6, 1863. Letters, Orders, and 
Circulars Sent, Vol. 740. 

51 S. P. Moore to W. A. Carrington, August 14, 1863. Order Book, Gen- 
eral Hospital No. 2, Lynchburg, Virginia (Confederate Museum, Richmond). 

52 S. P. Moore to W. A. Carrington, July 21, 1863. Letters, Orders, and 
Circulars Sent, Vol. 740. 

53 John Herbert Claiborne, Seventy-Five Years in Old Virginia (New 
York and Washington, 1904), 199-200. See also W. D. Somers to H. F. Scott, 
May 10, 1864. William D. Somers Papers (Duke University Library Dur- 
ham, N. C). 

64 S. P. Moore to Mrs. Ann E. Gates, November 22, 1864. Letters, Orders, 
and, Circulars Sent, Chapter VI, Vol. 741. 

55 Joseph Jones, "The Medical History of the Confederate States Army 
and Navy," Southern Historical Society Papers, XX (1892), 119-120. 

398 The North Carolina Historical Review 

ciation of Medical Officers of the Army and Navy of the 
Confederacy in 1916, the "Committee on the Roster of the 
Medical officers of the Confederate States" reported the fol- 
lowing number of officers to have been nominated by the 
President and confirmed by the Senate for service in the Army 
Medical Department: 

Surgeon General 1 

Surgeons 1,242 

Assistant Surgeons 1,994 


The same committee found the following number of officers 
to have been nominated and confirmed for service in the 
Medical Department of the Navy: 

Surgeons 26 

Passed Assistant Surgeons 13 

Assistant Surgeons 63 

Assistant Surgeons for the War ____ 5 



In view of the figures set forth above it is interesting to note 
that an officer who served throughout the war could remem- 
ber having seen only one medical officer. 57 

The nucleus of the Confederate States Army and Navy 
Medical Departments was formed by those who resigned 
from the medical staffs of the Union Army and the Navy. 
When the year 1861 opened, the Medical Corps of the 
United States Army consisted of one Surgeon General, thirty 
surgeons, and eighty-three assistant surgeons. Three surgeons 
and twenty-one assistant surgeons resigned their commis- 
sions and entered the Confederate service. 58 Much the same 
is true as regards the Navy. J. Thomas Scharf, historian of 

69 The Southern Practitioner, XXXVIII (July, 1916) , 270. 

57 Joseph B. Cumming, War Recollections, 11-12, typescript (University 
of North Carolina Library). 

58 Harvey E. Brown, The Medical Department of the United States Army 
from 1775 to 1873 (Washington, 1873), 215; Hume, Victories of Army 
Medicine, 15. 

Confederate Medical Department 399 

the Confederate States Navy, asserts that "by June 3, 1861, 
about one-fifth of the officers of the United States navy had 
resigned." Of 148 medical officers listed as of that date 28 
southerners had resigned. 59 A register published in 1931 in- 
dicates 35 southern resignations from the Union Navy Medi- 
cal Corps. William A. W. Spotswood of Virginia, who be- 
came the top-ranking naval surgeon of the Confederacy, 
was among those who relinquished their commissions. 60 

It was to be expected perhaps that in a conflict characteriz- 
ed by heavy fighting during summer and relative inactivity 
in winter there would be alternating periods of sufficiency 
and insufficiency in regard to the number of medical officers. 
Surgeon General Moore sometimes noted an excessive num- 
ber of medical officers in certain Virginia general hospitals, 61 
and early in November, 1863, he informed a Georgia doctor 
who had filed an application to appear before an Army Medi- 
cal Board that no invitations were being issued "as the 
Medical Department has its sufficiency of medical officers. 
A similar message was also sent out early in the year 1865. 
The coming of winter generally meant the cancellation of 
contracts between the Medical Department and private phy- 
sicians employed during the months of active campaigning. 64 

It was sometimes difficult, late in the war, to keep the army 
in the field supplied with its complement of medical officers, 
summer or winter. Lafayette Guild, General Lee's Medical 
Director, advised Surgeon General Moore on February 24, 
1864, that there were thirteen regiments in the Army of 

59 Scharf , History of the Confederate States Navy, 32. 

60 Register of Officers of the Confederate States Navy (Washington, 
1931). A register reportedly containing a list of all officers who had re- 
signed from the U. S. Navy was found on a Confederate gunboat captured 
in North Carolina waters. On this list were the names of nine surgeons, 
ten passed assistant surgeons, and eleven assistant surgeons. Frank Moore 
(ed.), The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, ivith Documents, 
Narratives, Illustrative Incidents, Poetry, etc., 11 vols, and Supplement 
(New York, 1861-1868), IV, 217-218. 

61 S. P. Moore to W. A. Carrington, June 20, 1863. Letters, Orders, and 
Circulars Sent, Vol. 740. 

62 S. P.. Moore to Matt Calvert, November 3, 1863. Letters, Orders, and 
Circulars Sent, Vol. 740. 

63 S. P. Moore to William Bell, January 30, 1865. Letters, Orders and 
Circulars Sent, Vol. 741. 

04 W. A. Carrington to S. P. Moore, January 4, 1865, and to S. Funsten, 
February 3, 1865. Letters Sent and Received, Medical Directors' Office, 
Richmond, 1864-1865, Chapter VI, Vol. 364. 

» 62 


400 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Northern Virginia understaffed in medical officers, 65 and the 
deficiency had not been made up by the middle of April. 66 
The need for medical officers increased sharply after the 
summer fighting got underway, and the Medical Department 
used the newspapers to urge private physicians to come for- 
ward for immediate service. 67 On June 15, 1864, the Medical 
Director of Virginia's hospitals asserted that he had been 
compelled to employ the most inefficient doctors in Richmond 
to care for the wounded. Each medical officer, according to 
Carrington, "had an average of far over 100 wounded men" 
to care for. 68 The Navy also had its problems. On April 28, 
1864, W. A. W. Spotswood, the Navy's chief medical official, 
informed the Secretary of the Navy that there were not 
enough surgeons authorized by Congress to meet the de- 
mands of the service. 69 Six months later found him presenting 
the same complaint. 70 President Davis himself stated well 
the overall situation in a veto message of March 13, 1865. In 
blocking a proposal that would have required some 150 med- 
ical officers for work connected with conscription, the Presi- 
dent explained: "We have no medical officers to spare from 
attendance upon the troops and in the hospitals . . . ." 71 

The Confederate Congress gave considerable attention 
to the establishment of an effective and efficient hospital pro- 
gram. Early confusion, ascribable primarily to the unex- 
pectedly large number of sick and wounded during the open- 
ing months of the war, was ended through the cooperative 
efforts of Congress and the Medical Department. Problems 
were better understood, appropriations were increased, and 
an adequate number of carefully located general hospitals 
were soon ready for occupancy by those needing hospital 

65 Lafayette Guild to S. P. Moore, February 24, 1864. Letters Sent, Medical 
Directors' Office, Army of Northern Virginia, 1863-1865, Chapter VI, 
Vol. 642. 

68 L. Guild to S. P. Moore, April 9 and 13, 1864. Letters Sent, Medical 
Directors' Office, Vol. 642. 

67 See, for example, Augusta, (Ga.) Daily Constitutionalist, May 28, 1864. 

68 W. A. Carrington to R. H. Chilton, June 15, 1864. Letters Sent and 
Received, Medical Directors' Office, Richmond, 1864-1865, Chapter VI, 
Vol. 364. 

G9 Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies, Ser. II, Vol. II, 

70 Official Records of . . . Navies, Ser. II, Vol. II, 758. 

71 Richardson Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, I, 643. 

Confederate Medical Department 401 

care. Private hospitals were closed or taken over by the War 
Department. 72 

An illustration of congressional effort to effect improve- 
ment in the hospital arrangement, and to recognize the State 
Rights idea at the same time, was the "Act to better provide 
for the Sick and Wounded of the Army in Hospitals," dated 
September 27, 1862. Prior to the passage of this act no 
definite system was followed in the assignment of patients 
to hospitals. Representative James Farrow of South Carolina 
"thought most of the hardships which beset the soldier whilst 
in hospitals, grew out of the practice of mixing up soldiers 
from all portions of the Confederacy, in the same hospital, 
and scattering men from the same neighbourhood and regi- 
ment" in many different institutions. 73 The bill, as approved, 
provided that hospitals "be known and numbered as hospitals 
of a particular state," and directed that, when feasible, the 
sick and wounded be assigned to hospitals representing 
their states. 74 The arrangement ordered by this important 
measure, seems to have received compliance, but the Medical 
Director of Virginia's hospitals informed Surgeon General 
Moore that it resulted in greatly increased expenditures. 75 

72 Wyndham B. Blanton, Medicine in Virginia in the Nineteenth Century 
(Richmond, Virginia, 1933), 297-298; S. P. Moore to E. N. Covey, July 16, 
1863, copy. John and Edmund Burke Haywood Papers (Duke University 
Library). The Fair Grounds Hospital, Raleigh, North Carolina, went into 
operation as a Confederate Hospital on August 1, 1862. E. Burke Haywood 
to E. S. Gaillard, October 15, 1862. Ernest Haywood Collection (University 
of North Carolina Library). 

73 Southern Historical Society Papers, XLV (1925), 230; Journal of the 
Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865, V, 304. 

7i The act of September 27, 1862, also authorized the employment of 
matrons, assistant matrons, ward matrons, ward masters, and additional 
nurses and cooks as needed. Matthews, Public Laws of the Confederate 
States of America . . . Second Session of the First Congress; 1862, 64. 

75 Report of the Apportionment of the General Hospitals in and around 
Richmond, February 13, 1864. This item, an eight page pamphlet, was found 
in the Rare Book Collection, Library of Congress. See also Special Order 
No. 133, Medical Directors' Office, Richmond, August 27, 1863, Order Book, 
General Hospital No. 2, Lynchburg, Virginia (Confederate Museum, Rich- 
mond) ; George P. Kain to Phoebe Y. Pember, September 14, 1864. Mrs. 
Phoebe Y. Pember Letters (University of North Carolina Library) ; Rich- 
mond Examiner, June 11, 1863. On February 9, 1863, Representative David 
Clopton of Alabama obtained support for a resolution which instructed the 
Committee on the Medical Department "to inquire into the expediency 
of establishing one or more hospitals in each State, and of providing for the 
transportation to such hospitals of the sick or wounded soldiers from such 
States respectively who may be unfit for service for thirty days." Journal 
of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865, VI, 86; 
Southern Historical Society Papers, XLVIII (1941), 86. 

402 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Another significant act to improve the Confederate hospital 
program became law on May 1, 1863. This statute, an amend- 
ment to the legislation of September 27, 1862, directed the 
Surgeon General to establish, in addition to hospitals already 
existing, a number of "way hospitals." These latter institu- 
tions were to be located along the routes of important rail- 
roads and were to furnish rations and quarters to sick and 
wounded furloughed and discharged soldiers during the 
course of their trip home. Way hospitals were to be admin- 
istered in the same way as general hospitals. 76 This act was 
a much needed one, and the authority delegated to the Sur- 
geon General was soon implemented by specific directives 
from his office. There were seventeen way hospitals estab- 
lished in Virginia and North Carolina alone. 77 

Congressional legislation also outlined the procedure to 
be followed in the granting of furloughs and discharges to 
sick, wounded, and disabled soldiers in hospitals. This, of 
course, was another matter of paramount importance. Nu- 
merous bills on the subject were proposed, but no compre- 
hensive measure was enacted until May 1, 1863. In the 
meantime furloughs and discharges to men in hospitals were 
conferred in accordance with army regulations, directives 
from the Surgeon General, and general orders issued by the 
Adjutant and Inspector General's Office. The inevitable re- 
sult was a considerable amount of confusion. 78 

On August 25, 1862, Senator Benjamin H. Hill, of Georgia, 
asserted that he had "learned from the Secretary of War, 
that not one man in three, who were furloughed, ever re- 

78 Matthews, Public Laws of the Confederate States of America . . . Third 
Session of the First Congress; 1863, 162. 

77 W. A. Carrington to Benjamin Blackford, June 19, 1863. Order and 
Letter Book, General Hospital, Liberty, Virginia (Confederate Museum) ; 
Circular No. 10, Office of the Medical Director, Richmond, August 11, 1864; 
Order Book, General Hospital No. 2, Lynchburg, Virginia, (Confederate 
Museum) ; Circular No. 32, Office of the Medical Director, Raleigh, Septem- 
ber 14, 1864; Letters, Orders, and Circulars Issued and Received, Military 
Prison Hospital, Salisbury, North Carolina, 1864-1865, VI, Vol. 35, WD 
Coll. of CR. 

79 Regulations for the Army of the Confederate States, 1863, 17-18; Order 
of S. P. Moore, September 19, 1862, Order Book, General Hospital No. 2, 
Lynchburg, Virginia (Confederate Museum) ; Official Records of the Union 
and Confederate Armies, Ser. IV, Vol. II, 98, 243; A. S. Mason to J. B. 
McCaw, December 18, 1862, Letters Received and Sent, Chimborazo Hospital, 
Richmond, 1861-1865, Chapter VI, Vol. 707, WD Coll. of CR. 

Confederate Medical Department 403 

turned to the army/' 79 Such a situation, of course, demanded 
more efficient administration. It was also declared, with 
some exaggeration, that there was too much delay encoun- 
tered by those entitled to furloughs and discharges. The 
charge was levelled in Congress early in 1863 that appli- 
cants for discharges might die before their applications were 
processed. Representative Caleb C. Herbert, of Texas, claim- 
ed that there were patients in the Richmond hospitals who 
had been there for more than a year. There were "hundreds," 
he thought, who were permanently disabled. Thus, "the Gov- 
ernment was subjected to millions of expense, with no pos- 
sible good to anybody." 80 The act of May 1, 1863, followed 
upon the heels of such assertions. 

"An Act regulating the granting of Furloughs and Dis- 
charges in Hospitals" provided for the creation of boards of 
examiners, comprised of hospital surgeons. These boards 
were to visit the hospitals to which they belonged twice each 
week and examine applicants for furloughs and discharges. 
Applicants for furlough, found unfit for military duty and 
likely to remain so for at least thirty days, were to receive 
furloughs for such period of time as the board should deem 
them unfit for duty, but not to exceed sixty days. The boards 
of examiners were empowered to recommend discharges. 
Recommendations for discharge had to be approved by the 
Surgeon General or the Commanding General of the army 
or department to which the soldier belonged. This act also 
required the surgeon in charge of every Confederate hospital 
to make a daily visit to each patient under his care. 81 

Provision was made later for the extension of furloughs 
when soldiers were unable to travel, 82 but Vice-President 
Alexander H. Stephens complained that many thousands had 

79 Southern Historical Society Papers, XLV, (1925), 224. 

80 Southern Historical Society Papers, XLIX, (1943), 186. 

81 Matthews, Public Laws of the Confederate States of America . . . 
Third Session of the First Congress; 1868, 153-154. Senator Louis T. Wig- 
fall, of Texas, opposed the bill and termed it "a proposition to take this 
power [of granting furloughs] from the hands of the President and the 
line officers and give it to the surgeons." This, Wigfall felt, "would be a 
bouleversement of the whole army." Southern Historical Society Papers, 
XLIX, (1943), 241. 

82 Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Ser. IV, Vol. II, 

404 The North Carolina Historical Review 

died in returning to the army before they were fully recov- 
ered. 83 On February 17, 1864, Congress amended the act 
regulating furlough and discharge procedure by extending 
the disability period which entitled the sick and wounded 
to furloughs to at least sixty days. 84 

A brief survey of furlough and discharge statistics suggests 
why the matter of a uniform and workable policy was of 
so much importance. Hospital reports for the Department 
of Virginia, covering the period from September, 1862, to 
August, 1864, reveal that 60,506 men were furloughed and 
4,667 others were discharged during this 23 month interval. 85 
Thus, an average of 2,631 furloughs and 203 discharges was 
granted monthly in this department alone. The largest num- 
ber of furloughs allowed in one month was the 6,556 allowed 
in June, 1864. The highest number of discharges was the 
1,550 granted in September, 1862. Records kept in the Con- 
federate Adjutant and Inspector General's Office list a total 
of 27,599 discharges conferred during the course of the war. 86 
The board of examiners at Richmond's Chimborazo Hospital, 
largest in the Confederacy, furloughed 1,283 men between 
August 19 and September 30, 1864, and approximately 1,465 
troops were furloughed from Howard's Grove Hospital, 
another Richmond institution, from August 20, 1864, to 
November 25, 1864. 87 Available records indicate that the 

83 John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate 
States Capital (ed. by Howard Swiggett, 2 vols., New York, 1935), II, 99-100. 

8i James M. Matthews, Public Laws of the Confederate States of America 
. . . Fourth Session of the First Congress; 1 863-6 U (Richmond, Virginia, 
1864), 194. 

85 Statistical Report of Hospitals in the Department of Virginia, Medical 
Directors' Office, Richmond, 1862-1864, Chapter VI, Vol. 151, WD Coll. of 
CR (The National Archives). 

86 Record of Discharges on Surgeon's Certificate of Disability, 1861-1865, 
Chapter I, Vols. 176-185, WD Coll. of CR. This list is probably not com- 
plete. The number of white and colored soldiers discharged from the United 
States Army for reasons of disability totaled 215,312 and 8,223 respectively. 
Surgeon General of the United States Army, Medical and Surgical History 
of the War of the Rebellion, 6 vols. (Washington, 1870-1888), Medical 
History, I, 648, 718. John Thomas Graves, a Missouri soldier discharged in 
1863 for reasons of poor health, died in the Missouri State Confederate 
Home in May, 1950, at the age of 108. Graves was the oldest Confederate 
veteran. "Milestones," Time (New York, 1923-), LV (May 22, 1950), 102. 

87 Register of Furloughs, Medical Director's Office, Richmond, 1864, Chap- 
ter VI, Vol. 177, WD Coll. of CR. On May 24, 1864, the Medical Director 
of Virginia's hospitals charged that the Board of Examiners at Chim- 
borazo was not furloughing as many disabled men as it should. W. A. Car- 
rington to J. B. McCaw, May 24, 1864. Letters Received and Sent, Chim- 
borazo Hospital, Richmond, 1861-1865, Chapter VI, Vol. 709. 

Confederate Medical Department 405 

number of discharges allowed dropped sharply after passage 
of the new legislation. Conversely, the number of furloughs 
given increased noticeably and reached record highs in the 
summer of 1864. 88 

Perhaps the chief criticism directed against the new policy 
for granting furloughs and discharges was raised by Lafayette 
Guild, Medical Director of the Army of Northern Virginia. 
Guild asserted that "a very large number of soldiers" had 
become permanently disabled for field service chiefly due to 
the fact that after being wounded they had been sent home 
where their wounds were neglected "at a period during the 
process of healing when judicious surgical attention was re- 
quired to prevent Anchylosis, Atrophy or contraction of the 
muscles and other deformities." To avoid this loss of man- 
power Guild was in favor of granting furloughs only to the 
permanently disabled. He also proposed the establishment 
of a hospital in which men who had developed deformities 
while on furlough could be treated. 89 It is probable that Guild 
overstated his case, but undoubtedly many wounded men 
were sent home who would have fared better in the hospitals. 
In general, the act worked satisfactorily. 

The growing shortage of manpower gave increasing con- 
cern to the President and Congress, and in his message to 
Congress of December 7, 1863, President Davis recommended 
the organization of an Invalid Corps. Such a corps, he be- 
lieved, "could be made useful in various employments for 
which efficient officers and troops are now detached." 90 The 
Congress responded with "An Act to provide an Invalid 
Corps," and this measure became law on February 17, 1864. 
The enactment provided for a corps composed of officers 
and men who were retired or discharged as the result of 
wounds or disease contracted in the line of duty. As some- 

88 Statistical Report of Hospitals in the Department of Virginia, Medical 
Directors' Office, Richmond, 1862-1864, Chapter VI, Vol. 151, WD Coll. 
of CR. 

89 L. Guild to W. H. Taylor, January 27, 1865. Letters Sent, Medical 
Directors' Office, Army of Northern Virginia, 1863-1865, Chapter VI, 
Vol. 642. Surgeon General Moore, in an address after the war, stated that 
the establishment of a hospital in which deformities caused by wounds 
could be treated had been contemplated. Moore, "Address," The Southern 
Practitioner, XXXI (October, 1909), 496. 

90 Richardson, Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, I, 373. 

406 The North Carolina Historical Review 

thing of a reward for their service-incurred disabilities the 
rank, pay and emoluments of officers and men assigned to 
the corps were to continue during the war or as long as they 
remained on the retired or discharged list. Each member of 
the Invalid Corps was required to undergo a physical exam- 
ination at least once every six months in order that any change 
in his condition might be discerned. It was expected, of 
course, that many in the Invalid Corps might be able to 
perform limited service, and the Secretary of War was 
authorized to assign officers and to detail men "for such 
duty as they shall be qualified to perform." Men relieved 
from disability were to be ordered back to their commands. 91 
An amendment enacted by Congress on January 27, 1865, 
reduced the compensation of retired officers to half pay. 92 

A Register of Officers of the Invalid Corps, maintained in 
the Confederate Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, 
lists a total of 1,063 names. Of this number 231 were de- 
scribed as "totally disqualified," and almost all the rest were 
assigned to some sort of duty. 93 A Register of Enlisted Men 
of the Invalid Corps, kept in the same Office, lists a total of 
5,139 names. The enlisted men described as "totally dis- 
qualified" numbered 2,061. The record is not complete as 
to what proportion of the remainder was assigned to light 



Congress, throughout the war years, attempted to furnish 
the Army and the Navy medical staffs sufficient funds to in- 
sure their efficient operation. Large sums of money were 
necessary to purchase medical and hospital supplies, to estab- 
lish and support military hospitals, to pay the salaries of 
contract physicians and to meet ever increasing operations 
everywhere. The estimates of Surgeon General Moore always 
received respectful attention from Congress, and that officer, 
in a post-war address, adverted to the cooperation he had 

91 Matthews, Public Laws of the Confederate States of America . . . 
Fourth Session of the First Congress, 203. 

92 Ramsdell, Laws and Joint Resolutions of the Last Session of the Con- 
federate Congress, 27. 

93 Register of Officers of the Invalid Corps, 1864-1865, Chapter I, Vol. 192, 
WD Coll. of CR. 

oi Register of Enlisted Men of the Invalid Corps, 1864-1865, Chapter I, 
Vol. 193, WD Coll. of CR. 

Confederate Medical Department 407 

received from the legislative branch. 95 Congressional appro- 
priations to the Army Medical Department increased rapid- 
ly during each year of the war. 

The war-time appropriations were as follows: 


Medical and hospital departments $ 75,000 

Medical and hospital supplies 350,000 

Surgical and medical supplies 250,000 

Establishment and support of military 

hospitals 50,000 

Pay of contract physicians 50,000 

Pay of cooks and nurses 130,000 

i 905,000 

Medical and hospital supplies $ 2,300,000 

Surgical and medical supplies 2,520,000 

Establishment and support of military 

hospitals 97,000 

Pay of contract physicians 110,000 

Pay of cooks and nurses 96,000 

Pay of hospital stewards 12,000 

Pay of hospital laundresses 10,000 

$ 5,145,000 

Medical and hospital supplies $ 11,000,000 

Establishment and support of military 

hospitals 300,000 

Hospital clothing 625,000 

Alcoholic stimulants 604,800 

Pay of contract physicians 400,000 

Pay of cooks and nurses 490,000 

Pay of hospital stewards 135,000 

Pay of hospital laundresses 125,000 

Pay of matrons, assistant matrons, 

and ward matrons 490,000 

Pay of ward masters 310,000 

$ 14,479,800 

Medical and hospital supplies $ 30,240,000 

Establishment and support of military 

hospitals 350,000 

95 Moore, "Address," The Southern Practitioner, XXXI (October, 1909), 

408 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Pay of contract physicians 450,000 

Pay of cooks and nurses 700,000 

Pay of hospital stewards 200,000 

Pay of hospital laundresses 300,000 

Pay of matrons, assistant matrons, 

and ward matrons 700,000 

Pay of ward masters 200,000 

$ 33,140,000 

Medical and hospital supplies $ 14,300,000 

Establishment and support of military 

hospitals 100,000 

Hospital clothing 500,000 

Alcoholic stimulants 4,000,000 

Pay of contract physicians 250,000 

Pay of cooks and nurses 350,000 

Pay of hospital stewards 100,000 

Pay of hospital laundresses 150,000 

Pay of matrons, assistant matrons, 

and ward matrons 350,000 

Pay of ward masters 200,000 

$ 20,300,000 

A grand total of $73,969,800 was appropriated to the Army 
Medical Department during the war period. Appropriations 
to the Navy Department's medical staff likewise increased 
year by year. They totaled $1,716,500, and are broken down 
as follows: 

1861 $ 20,000 

1862 61,500 

1863 250,000 

1864 1,010,000 

1865 375,000 

$ 1,716,500 96 

96 Army and Navy appropriation figures were extracted from the various 
appropriation bills of the Confederate Congresses as set forth in the works 
edited by J. M. Matthews and C. W. Rarnsdell, all of which have been 
cited heretofore. There is one other figure which might be noted. An act 
approved on August 21, 1861, provided an appropriation of $57,000,000 
to be used for the payment of troops, quartermaster supplies, ordnance 
supplies, engineering, and surgical and medical expenditures. It is not 
known how much of this was distributed to the medical service. Matthews, 
Statutes at Large of the Provisional Government, 187. The total expendi- 
tures of the United States Army Medical Department, from June 30, 1861, 
to June 30, 1866, exclusive of salaries to medical officers, reached the sum 
of $47,351,982.24. Brown, The Medical Department of the United States 
Army from 1775 to 1873, 246. 

Confederate Medical Department 409 

These figures do not include the salaries paid to Army and 
Navy medical officers. 

The increasing medical expenditures, while partially the 
result of a steady price rise, 97 reflect a constant increase of 
medical services. Not only did the appropriations for such 
items as medical and hospital supplies, the establishment and 
support of military hospitals, and the pay of contract physi- 
cians mount steadily, but new items were added from time 
to time and old ones dropped. By 1863, following the passage 
of the act of September 27, 1862, which authorized the em- 
ployment of matrons, assistant matrons, ward matrons, and 
other attendants, the objects of appropriation had become al- 
most standardized. 

The medical service of the Confederate States bore a close 
resemblance to that of the United States. Just as the Confed- 
erate Constitution coincided in many ways with the Federal 
Constitution, medical regulations drafted at the war's out- 
break were almost identical with those of the "old army." 
The legislation enacted by the First and Second Congresses, 
however, was the product of experience and investigation 
rather than duplication, and it reflected credit on those 

97 See, for example, E. Merton Coulter, The Confederate States of Ameri- 
ca 1861-1865 (Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1950), 219 ff. 


Edited by Richard Walser 

The heroic, determined, and conscious effort of a small 
group of North Carolinians to create and then to establish 
firmly a state literature is particularly exemplified in the 
novels of Calvin Henderson Wiley, who in the late 1840's 
wrote and had published two intensely patriotic Revolu- 
tionary romances dealing with North Carolina's past. 

Wiley is chiefly remembered as the first superintendent 
of common schools in North Carolina, an honor which came 
to him in 1853. Born in Guilford County in 1819, he gradu- 
ated from the University of North Carolina in 1840 and the 
following year, upon receiving a law license, settled in the 
village of Oxford to practice his profession. 1 His clients, un- 
fortunately, were not burdensome, 2 and he turned in his 
spare time to literary pursuits, editing the Oxford Mercury 
from 1841 to 1843. In 1847 he published Alamance, 3 in 1849 
Roanoke.* Wiley was well aware that novels dealing with 

1 For biographical data see sketches by R. D. W. Connor in Samuel A. 
Ashe (ed.), Biographical History of North Carolina (Greensboro, 1905), II, 
[427]-440; and by C. Alphonso Smith in Bettie D. Caldwell (compiler), 
Founders and Builders of Greensboro, 1808-1908 (Greensboro, 1925). The 
latter discusses Wiley's literary career in some detail and quotes a letter 
of Wiley's dated from Philadelphia, August 31, 1847, in which he writes 
of his having always "cherished a desire to immortalize my old mother 
state. . . ," adding "I have made my native place shine in the glories of my 
first attempts at fame" (p. 137). See also Mary Callum Wiley (ed.), "Un- 
published Letters of Calvin Henderson Wiley," North Carolina Historical 
Review, XXIX (January, 1952), 91-103, which includes a letter to his 
mother dated from New York, July 17, 1848, telling of his "trying to make 
something by my pen as well as by my profession" and of his being in 
New York "on business connected with my books" (p. 93). 

2 In the Preface of Alamance Wiley gives a highly descriptive picture 
of the everyday humdrum of his law office. Constantly disturbed by un- 
profitable visitors, he had great difficulty finding time to write. He makes 
clear, however, his great love for his state, and his fervent desire to use 
her unexploited history and character in works of fiction, as Sir Walter 
Scott had done for his native Scotland (p. vii). 

3 Alamance; or, The Great and Final Experiment (New York: Harper & 
Brothers, 1847). The novel was published anonymously. 

4 Roanoke has had a most peculiar publishing history. First it appeared 
serially in Sartain's Union Magazine in ten installments from March 
through December, 1849 (vols. IV-V). It was pirated in London in 1851 as 





One good deed, dying tonguelea^ 
Slaughters ft thousand waiting on that 

Winter's Tata. 

I K W Oft> f +*+»" — 


184 7. 

University of North Carolina Library 

Plate I 

Wiley's First Novel 

412 The North Carolina Historical Review 

North Carolina were almost unknown, 5 for in the preface to 
Alamance his imaginary character "Horace Lockwitter, of 
New York" exclaims: "A North Carolina book! What a gem 
for the curious in literature!" 6 It was Wiley's express purpose 
to put his state into the records of literature, from which he 
felt it had been disgracefully and inexcusably absent for too 
long a time. 

Alamance is the story of several families before, during, 
and after the Revolution in the community surrounding the 
little Presbyterian church of Alamance in Guilford County. 
(It does not concern, as one might suppose, the Battle of 
Alamance.) The conflicting loyalties of local Whigs and 
Tories result in dissension among friends and lovers. The 
hero, Henry Warden, takes part in the Battle of Camden; 
later Warden and his trustworthy, comical friend Uncle 
"Corny" Demijohn participate in the Battle of Guilford Court- 
house. For the most part, the story is seen through the eyes 
of the schoolmaster, Hector M'Bride. Historical personages 
appearing briefly are Dr. David Caldwell, Flora Macdonald, 
Francis Marion, and George Washington. Alamance was 
Wiley's novel of the central part of the state. In his next, 
he deliberately planned a move to the east. 

Roanoke is not so successful a novel as Wiley's first. This 
time he seems determined more than ever to fill his book 
with North Carolina history and tradition and to let the plot 
get along as best it can. For instance, after recounting the 
Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge, he steps from his position 
as narrator to exclaim: "This was one of the most decisive 
and important victories achieved during the Revolution . . . 
yet who out of North Carolina has heard of Moore's Creek, 

Adventures of Old Dan Tucker, and His Son Walter, published by Wil- 
loughby & Co.; in 1852 another pirated edition appeared in London as 
Utopia; An Early Picture of Life at the South, published by Henry Lea. 
Again in 1852 T. B. Peterson issued it under the title Life in the South, 
A Companion to Uncle Tom's Cabin. In 1866 Peterson reissued it under its 
original title Roanoke. This last is the edition which is most common. Ala- 
mance and Roanoke are the first novels to be written by a native of North 

6 Wiley does not show any familiarity with Robert Strange's Eoneguski 
(1839), the first novel with its setting almost entirely within the boundaries 
of North Carolina. See Richard Walser, "Senator Strange's Indian Novel," 
North Carolina Historical Review, XXVI (January, 1949), [l]-27. 

8 Wiley, Alamance, vi. 

Calvin Henderson Wiley 413 

or of its heroes Lillington and Caswell?" 7 The story, moving 
from Nags Head to New Bern and then to Wilmington and 
Moore's Creek, is principally concerned with the adventures 
of Walter Tucker, a type of young democratic American who 
will not accede to his being inferior to anyone else, and of 
Utopia Ricketts, a sort of Neoplatonic child of nature. The 
time is 1775 and 1776. There are elaborate scenes of the pal- 
ace in New Bern with Governor Josiah Martin entertaining 
for Lady Susannah Carolina Matilda, sister of the Queen of 
Great Britain. Folk characters are Old Dan Tucker of North 
Carolina and Zip Coon of Virginia. Surprise revelations are 
frequent, and no reader is alarmed when Walter turns out 
to be the descendant of Sir Walter Raleigh and Lord Manteo 
of Roanoke. Generally, the author has carefully documented 
his material to provide authenticity; for instance, he quotes 
Martin's History of North Carolina when mentioning Gov- 
ernor Tryon's sister-in-law, the questionable Esther Wake. 8 
Still, in spite of its diffuseness, in 1849 Roanoke helped to 
spread abroad the historical background of North Carolina 
of which the novelist was so proud. 

Luckily, letters by Wiley and about him, written during 
the time of the composition and publication of these two 
novels, have been preserved. The struggle of the young novel- 
ist for recognition is a matter of record— a record heretofore, 
for the most part, never before in print. 9 These letters relate 
the battle of a man under thirty who was contending not 
only for his own place in the world 10 but for the literary honor 
of his state. Read chronologically, they give an excellent 
picture of Wiley's life during that period. 

'Wiley, Roanoke, 143. 
8 Wiley, Roanoke, 39. 


True, several Wiley letters of this period have been printed ; but none of 
them have been reissued in the present series. Unless otherwise noted, all 
letters are from the T. B. Kingsbury Letterbook, Southern Historical Col- 
lection, University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill. 

10 Wiley's fame was hardly established until the publication of his North 
Carolina Reader (Philadelphia, 1851). See Howard Braverman, "Calvin H. 
Wiley's North Carolina Reader" North Carolina Historical Review, XXIX 
(October, 1952), 500-522. 

414 The North Carolina Historical Review 


Marion, Ala— Apr 7, 1847 13 
. . . How flourishes the law with youl I received a letter yes- 
terday from our old college mate C. H. Wiley now of Oxford in 
the Old North & he gives a most woeful account of the Pros- 
pects of the Profession in your state. From the tenor of his 
letter, I infer that he is completely disgusted with law & poli- 
tics ; & what do you think he purposes to do ? Why turn author 
& write — novels. This in course is entre nous — He says that he 
has already prepared one & that when revised & corrected it 
will be ready for the Press. If this takes, he thenceforth bids 
farewell to the green bag 14 — Poor fellow, is he cracked? I most 
sincerely hope that he will succeed to the full extent of his 
brightest anticipations but think the enterprise of doubtful 
issue .... 


Raleigh, June 29th, 1847— 16 
Dear Sir : 

I shall have to call on you to redeem a promise which you 
made in sincerity but which, I hoped, you would not have to 
perform. The exigencies of my situation demand that I should 
go immediately North-ward, & it is important that I go under 
the most favorable auspices. — 

I did not when I was at your house reveal to you the full ex- 
tent of the perils that environ me, & shall now merely glance 
at them by way, not of exciting your heart which needs no 
spur, but of conquering your laziness which stands in the way 
of your kindness. 

To begin at the beginning — When I finished my education 
I was in debt. My father's circumstances having begun to fail, 
I undertook to shift for myself & my standing was so fair 
that, altho' a boy, I was enabled to borrow money on the most 
accomodating terms. For this & another sum afterwards ob- 
tained I was in debt when I commenced the practice of the law. 

lx Isham W. Garrott (1816-1863) was born in Wake County, attended the 
University of North Carolina, then removed to Alabama, where he became 

12 John' Willis Ellis (1820-1861), first a lawyer, was governor of North 
Carolina (1859-1861). 

13 Ellis Papers, Southern Historical Collection, University of North Caro- 
lina, Chapel Hill. 

14 Symbol of the legal profession. 

"Willie Person Mangum (1792-1861), Hillsboro resident, was U. S. 
Senator from 1840 to 1853. 

16 This letter and the one following are from the Willie P. Mangum 
Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C. Both are addressed to 
Mangum at Red Mountain, Orange County. 

Calvin Henderson Wiley 415 

These debts were a millstone about my neck. As you know, no 
one can succeed at the Bar unless he is independent, or at least 
has a small capital to begin with. I have had to waste, for a 
bare existence, energies that might have made me eminent at 
the Bar or distinguished in politics. My old school-mates are 
all astonished at not hearing of me from the voice of the pub- 
lic, but they do not know that I have had to strive with a Hercules 
who has kept me down. My difficulties have latterly increased, 
but not by my own imprudence. My parents' circumstances 
have, at last, become so involved as to demand my immediate 
supervision for I have no brothers. This is not all. When I 
commenced the law Gov. Morehead, 17 knowing my history 
proffered me the use of his library until I could buy one. Think- 
ing no doubt that I am now prospering he has made a call for 
his books. Thus will my very tools be taken away for I cannot 
ask him (the Gov.) to extend his favors — 

Anticipating these things I last winter ran for the Office of 
Solicitor, & the result you know. 18 Still untiring I went home 
& commenced a literary production which I have now finished 
& wish to publish. I shall start North soon & must ask you to 
say all for me your conscience will permit. I shall rely mostly 
on your letters for altho' I get a few here, the two men best 
able to recommend me (Badger 19 & Haywood 20 ) are men to whom 
I cannot apply. With one I have only a speaking acquaintance 
& the other I never wish to ask for a favor. You will please 
give me a letter to Edward Johnson 21 of Washington City the 
man who writes the literary articles for the Intelligencer — to 
Brooks 22 of New- York & Webb 23 of the same place, & to any 

17 John Motley Morehead (1796-1866) was governor of North Carolina 

18 During this period, solicitors for the various circuits throughout the 
State were named by the Legislature. In November, 1846, Wiley ran against 
John F. Poindexter, John Kerr, and Henry K. Nash for solicitor of the 
4th circuit. The House gave Poindexter a majority on the third ballot. Wiley 
ran last in all three votings. See Journals of the Senate and House of 
Representatives (1846-1847), 308-312. 

19 George Edmund Badger (1795-1866), judge, Secretary of the Navy 
(1840-1841), elected to the U. S. Senate from North Carolina in 1848. 

20 William H. Haywood, Jr. (1801-1852), political leader from Raleigh, 
served in the U. S. Senate from 1843 to 1846. 

21 Wiley misspells the name. Edward William Johnston (1799-1867) was 
a versatile journalist. For ten years he was literary editor of the National 
Intelligencer in Washington, for which he evidently wrote the unsigned 
columns called "Notes on New Books" and "International Literary Ex- 
change." He was a contributor to the Southern Literary Messenger. His 
most brilliant writing appeared under his penname "II Segretarios." 

^Probably James Brooks (1810-1873), founder in 1836 of the New York 
Evening Express. 

23 James Watson Webb (1802-1884), author, editor of the New York 
Morning Courier and New York Enquirer (1829-1861), United States 
Minister to Brazil (1861-1869) and one of the founders of the Associated 









-•• Give me the broad prairie. 

Where nun, like the wind, roam* impuUive and free ; 
Behold how it* beautiful colour* all rare. 

Like tho«e"of the cloud* or the.deep-rullinft' »e»! 
A life in the woods, hov«, in eren »« rb. .inginc ; 

With prond Independence we season our cheer : 
And those who the worJd are for happiness ranoinr. 

Won't And it at all if ther don't rind it nere." 

Life in ikr tt'etr. Bv GtOKRU. Moaais, 


University of North Carolina Library 

Plate II 

The 1851 Pirated Edition of Roanoke 

Calvin Henderson Wiley 417 

other influential or literary characters in New- York & Phila- 
delphia, particularly the latter. I will call & see you as soon as 
I return & will also, of course, send you a copy of my book. 

I wish my letters to place me in a position to command the 
respect of publishers. 

I shall leave this place in a few days & send this letter by a 

Wishing you health & success, 
I remain, 

Yours very truly & sincerely, 


Oxford, July 14th, 1847— 
Dear Sir: 

The enclosed letter 24 was written at Raleigh several days 
ago & will speak for itself. I had intended to send it to you by a 
boy but finding a conveyance otherwise I must trust to your 
writing to me by the mail. You must write, & I shall look for 
the packet on Friday night. The Hillsboro mail comes in that 
night & will not again arrive until the Friday following. I wish 
to start North-ward on Saturday & must rely mainly on your 
letters. If you knew me better I could with more confidence 
ask the favor mentioned, but even then I should not do it but 
for the strong case I make out. I love my pen & have some con- 
fidence in its ability to make a reputation for me; but matters 
are so pressing with me now that I must jump into immediate 
favor with publishers or I will fall to a position whence I may 
not be able to rise. I have two objects in view; first to sell my 
book & form a favorable acquaintance with publishers & 
secondly, to get a situation if I can as a writer with a perma- 
nent salary. I can say, without any disposition to boast that 
any thing from my pen in the way of a book will sell sufficiently 
in N. C. to pay double the cost of publication. I addition to this 
my scholastic career which was long and thorough brought me 
acquainted with students from all parts of the South & I now 
have enthusiastic friends & admirers (excuse me) in some of the 
most intelligent and prominent young men of Virginia, Tennes- 
see, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, & Missouri. Add to this the 
fact that critics here think my book has some intrinsic merits 
& it will justify the hope of a moderately fair price. I wish to 
form the acquaintance of literary men in Philadelphia & New 
York & want some obliging critic high in the confidence of pub- 
lishers to pass judgment on the manuscript. 


The one preceding this, dated June 29. 

418 The North Carolina Historical Review 

I wish to make a short stop in Washington City & to see 
Edward Johnson who perhaps can give me much information 
that will be useful. 

I will see you immediately after my return & also, if you like, 
give you the interesting news by letter, that may occur in my 
travels — — 

Let me ask you again to spur up your energies & let me hear 
from you by Friday. It strikes me that one letter might be 
addressed to several in the same city — 
/ never forget a favor. 

I am most truly, 
& with high regard, 
Your obliged Servant, 

JA. T. LITTLE JOHN 25 to Doct. THOMAS D. MUTTER, 26 Phila. 

Oxford, No. Car. July 20, 1847 27 
My dear Cousin: 

This will be handed you by Calvin H. Wiley Esq. a lawyer 
of this place of highly respectable attainment in his profession 
and a gentleman of high standing and of a liberal education, 
as well as of fine literary taste and acquirements and a practiced 
and gifted writer, whom I beg to commend to your favorable 

Mr. Wiley visits your City upon a purely literary enterprize — 
having in view the publication of a literary work, which he has 
now ready for the press. Of the merits of the Work I have no 
opportunity of judging; but from the Known reputation of the 
Author in this community as a Writer and a man of genius, I 
have no doubt it is entitled to very high consideration — and 
that in North Carolina the Work will meet with a favorable 
reception and command a large sale. 

Mr. Wiley will desire to make the acquaintance of some of 
your publishers. Any assistance you may be able to render him 
in the furtherance of his object, I shall very highly esteem. 

25 James Thomas Littlejohn (1816-1887), whose family were among the 
original inhabitants of Oxford, was a local figure of considerable impor- 
tance. He was the grandfather of Jacques Busbee of Jugtown-pottery fame. 
For the identification of most of the Granville County names, I am indebted 
to Francis B. Hays, antiquarian and historian of Oxford. 

26 Though born in Richmond, Mutter (1811-1859) was descended from 
pre-Revolutionary North Carolina settlers. After attending Hampden- 
Sydney College, he went to the University of Pennsylvania, from which he 
received an M.D. degree at the age of twenty. He won a reputation as 
surgeon and teacher at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. 

27 Wiley Papers, State Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. 

Calvin Henderson Wiley 419 


Philadelphia, Aug. 27th, 1847— 
My dear The : 

You must excuse me for my long delay in writing to you, 
one of my dearest friends. I received your very kind letter 
while passing thro' Philadelphia & it has done me good service. 
I disliked to shew it & others but Webb 29 of the "Courier & En- 
quirer" & in fact every body else told me that while at the 
North I must do as Northerners do, blow my own trumpet. The 
Rev. Mr. Griswold 30 (a scholar, critic & gentleman) I found at 
New- York & after a careful examination of my book 31 he passed 
such a high encomium on it that the Harpers took it. Editors, 
authors & publishers, one & all, here & in New- York express 
great astonishment at my success for it is a rule with the Messrs. 
H. to publish no untried work of an unknown author. This book 
is now printing & I have already corrected a good many of the 
proof sheets. I have Mr. Griswold's written opinion & he says 
the book is, "original, & fresh with indigenous scenes & char- 
acters drawn with spirit & felicity & is obliged to be successful 
from its merits" &c &c — . I have just arrived in this City & 
went to see Graham 32 the prince of publishers. I shewed him 
Mr. G's opinion & we at once struck a new bargain. I am to 
write a Novel 33 of 100 pages for his Magazine & he is to give 
me $500 for the privilege of publishing & leave me the copy- 
right! This is fact. 

All the leading Northern Editors will give me a shove & Mr. 
Graham is going to announce for December, "A New & excit- 
ing story by the popular author of Alamance" &c &c. So we go. 

I have purposely delayed writing you until I could give you 
good news. When I am more at leisure I will give you an ac- 
count of my travels: in the mean time I wish you to do me 
another favor. The Harpers will attend to the interests of my 
book in other states but they desire me to see that a demonstra- 
tion is made in N. C. I will get Gales 34 & Hale 35 to announce a 

28 Theodore Bryant Kingsbury (1828-1913) attended the Oxford Male 
Academy, the Lovejoy Military Academy (Raleigh), and from 1847 to 
1849 the University of North Carolina. He became a minister. Also he 
edited the Leisure Hour (Oxford) and later the Wilmington Star and 
Wilmington Messenger. 

29 James Watson Webb. See above, n. 23. 

^Rufus Wilmot Griswold (1815-1857), prominent New York and Phila- 
delphia journalist and editor, literary executor of Edgar Allan Poe. 
81 Alamance. 

33 George Rex Graham (1813-1894), Philadelphia publisher of Graham's 
Magazine from 1840 until he sold it in 1853. 

83 Later titled Roanoke. 

34 Weston Raleigh Gales (1802-1848), at this time editor of the influential 
Raleigh Register. 

^Edward Jones Hale (1802-1883), publisher of the Carolina Observer 
(renamed the Fayetteville Observer in 1834) from 1825 to 1865. 





lift nt Ijje lanfji, 


" Who i» God tad wbcre l* he t " continue*! the negro, hi* nontrlb dilating and W« cfcatt 
hearing; "ta he not fit in heaven and mark the undoes* d wn;Ung», the inward prayer*, 
and the heart *ickn«.*w of tho*e thousands of thinking, ratioral, and rmni >rt«l anuU, whom 
t>>e white men drive and brat aa they do the r oxen and U.< ir horffr»» Do you know that 
tie negro aa well as the white man has an undying aplrH thut look* to beat en, and that it 
v il meet ita mu«ter'a as an equal at the bar of God f Matter ! ' Ged only W my ma/ter t **— 
ViJt r*0K lyy. 


University of North Carolina Library 

Plate III 

The 1852 Pirated Edition of Roanoke 

Calvin Henderson Wiley 421 

forth-coming N. C. Novel about which much interest is felt & you 
must attend to the "Standard." Write, immediately a communi- 
cation stating that there is now in the press of the Harpers a 
N. C. novel & that you understand it has been highly commend- 
ed by the first critics in the Union, (Griswold is the first) & is 
likely to make a sensation &c &c & then call on the Carolinians 
to look out & stand by their state. 

My dear friend I rely on you, & when I am "famous," 

"We'll take a cup o' kindness 

"In memory o' auld lang syne." 
No time is to be lost for the book is coming fast. You will get 
a copy but you must let no one know it is a present. I cannot 
send to all my friends. 

I[n] haste, 

Your true friend, 


Oxford Sept 2nd, 1847 
. . . C. H. Wiley was in N. York when last heard from which 
was about two weeks ago. he left here a few days after you 
did & went to Phil where he remained a short time & went to 
N. Y. He does not write any thing about coming home, I sup- 
pose he will not come until he gets his book out. He intimated 
that the Harpers would probably publish it, and I suppose it 
is now in course of publication. He says it has been read by 
the Literati of N. Y. & Phil & these judgements upon its merits 
are very favorable indeed & they think it will succeed admirably. 
He had been offered $5. per column to write for the Courier & 
Enquirer, 37 which he has declined. He writes very independent. 
It is the opinion of some that he will not return here to live 
but will settle permanently in N. Y. I think he would succeed 
better as a writer than at the Bar .... 

[To be concluded"] 

36 Son of Lewis Heflin of Granville County. William D. and his brother 
Jesse moved to Sardis, Mississippi, early in their lives and lost contact 
with the North Carolina branches of the family. This information supplied 
by Wm. D. Heflin's grandnephew, W. J. Webb of Oxford. 

37 See above, n. 23. 


The Papers of Willie Person Mangum: Volume III, 1839-1843. 
Edited by Henry T. Shanks (Raleigh: State Department of 
Archives and History. 1953. Pp. xxiv, 553. Illustrations. $1.00.) 

This, the third volume of the Mangum papers, covering 
the years 1839 to 1843, portrays the major role played by 
Willie P. Mangum in the turbulent affairs of the Whig party. 

The most persistent theme in this correspondence is the 
extreme displeasure felt by Mangum and his fellow moderate 
Whigs toward what they regarded as President Tyler's be- 
trayal of Whig policies. Tyler's anti-bank, anti-internal im- 
provement and strict constructionist stand, which was almost 
completely at variance with the Whig platform of 1840, was 
acceptable only to the most extreme southerners. The fury 
of the moderates at Tyler's refusal to follow Clay's financial 
program is clearly expressed in a group of letters by the 
Maryland Whig Reverdy Johnson, whose opinion Mangum 
held in high esteem. 

This volume would seem to lend considerable support to 
the suggested thesis of Charles G. Sellers, Jr., in "Who Were 
the Southern Whigs," American Historical Review, LIX 
(January, 1954) pp. 335-346, that during the 1830's and 
1840's the South was politically divided on the basis of 
economic issues rather than on the question of states' rights 
vs. nationalism. Little mention of states' rights principles 
appears, whereas the increasing tendency of the southern 
Whigs to follow Clay's nationalist orientation is very much 
in evidence. A great many letters from prominent New York 
businessmen, such as James D. Ogden, James Auchincloss, 
and Nicholas Carroll, suggest the community of interest 
which had developed between leading southern and north- 
ern Whigs on important economic matters, especially on the 
necessity for establishing a new national bank. 

In addition to matters of national interest, the letters reflect 
Mangum's important role as a dispenser of patronage and his 
popularity as a speaker at Whig meetings. A group of his 
letters to his wife contain various interesting personal details. 


Book Reviews 423 

In keeping with the high standard of editing already estab- 
lished in this series, the present volume contains extensive 
explanatory notes and brief biographical identifications of 
virtually all of the correspondents. 

Howard Braverman. 
Brooklyn College, 
Brooklyn, New York. 

An Abstract of North Carolina Wills From About 1760 to About 
1800. By Fred A. Olds. (Baltimore: Southern Book Company. 
1954. Pps. 330. $10.00.) 

Before 1760 the law required that North Carolina wills be 
filed in the office of the secretary of the Province of North 
Carolina. Since that time they have been filed in the respec- 
tive counties. In 1906 J. Bryan Grimes, Secretary of State, 
published North Carolina Wills and Inventories, containing 
abstracts of the so-called "state wills" before 1760. 

Realizing that there was a sizable demand for Grimes' 
work, Colonel Fred A. Olds, Collector for the Hall of History, 
undertook to publish An Abstract of North Carolina Wills 
From About 1760 To About 1800. He personally visited 48 
counties and abstracted approximately 9,900 wills. The bulk 
of the wills recorded in the other 12 counties in existence in 
1800 had been destroyed by courthouse fires. Of the 125 
copies printed in 1925, one went to each of the state's 100 
courthouses and one copy to each of several libraries. Obvi- 
ously, therefore, few copies were ever in the hands of the 
general public. 

The edition under review is "a photographic reprint of the 
original." Referring to manuscript corrections made from time 
to time "by various people," the publishers do not "vouch 
for the validity of these corrections." The reviewer recom- 
mends that both the corrections and the original (printed 
copy) be used with caution inasmuch as both are secondary. 
In the interest of accuracy one should go behind the printed 
volume insofar as possible. 

The first edition of this book has been used a great deal 
and it is safe to predict that this photographic reprint will 

424 The North Carolina Historical Review 

be in demand, especially by genealogists. Certainly this 
volume will invite the researcher to seek the original or the 
probated copy of any will in which he may be interested. 

W. Frank Burton. 

State Department of Archives and History, 

Selected Papers of Cornelia Phillips Spencer. Edited by Louis 
R. Wilson. (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina 
Press. 1953. Pp. vii, 753. $7.50.) 

This volume of the published writings and of much of the 
private correspondence of Cornelia Phillips Spencer is an 
admirable job of editing. The documents reproduced here 
are products of the years from 1865 to 1895, and they accom- 
plish the two-fold purpose of the editor: "(1) to give a vivid 
impression of the times, and ( 2 ) to acquaint the present-day 
public with the literary excellence of Mrs. Spencer's style 
when she gave her imagination and pen full play." 

The volume contains Cornelia Spencer's contributions to a 
number of publications, notably to the North Carolina Presby- 
terian, in which she conducted the "Young Lady's Column." 
In addition, there are her letters to members of her family 
and to friends and acquaintances of high and low estate. Her 
writings reveal a personality of great versatility and of 
undying loyalty to the University of North Carolina in the 
trying days following the Civil War. Her viewpoints on a 
multitude of matters, such as manners and customs, North 
Carolina attitudes and background, education, religion, and 
politics are always pungently stated and reveal a mind of 
great wisdom and common sense. 

Although Cornelia Phillips Spencer was born in New York 
City, she came to Chapel Hill in 1826 with her parents, 
Professor and Mrs. James Phillips, when she was about a year 
old. She grew up to love Chapel Hill and the University 
which, to her, was the great institution in her life. Except for 
her brief married life in Alabama, Chapel Hill was her home 
until 1894, when she went to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to 
make her home with her daughter and son-in-law, Professor 

Book Reviews 425 

and Mrs. James Lee Love. Her life, therefore, was cast in 
the days of the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the restoration 
of Democratic rule in North Carolina. 

In his arrangement of Cornelia Spencer's writings, which 
proceeded from her own experiences, observations, and study, 
the editor has presented the reader and student with a fund 
of information about a remarkable woman and the life of her 
generation in North Carolina. 

Howard B. Clay. 
East Carolina College, 
Greenville, N. C. 

The Rowan Story, 1753-1953: A Narrative History of Rowan 
County, North Carolina. By James S. Brawley. (Salisbury, 
North Carolina: Rowan Printing Company. 1953. Pp. 402. 

The county history is perhaps the most neglected phase 
of American historiography, at least in quality if not in 
quantity. The author of the county history is often a novice 
in historical research, biased by a natural feeling of local 
patriotism, and more a chronicler of tradition than an in- 
terpreter of his locality in the broader aspects of state or 
regional history. The labor and time involved, not to say 
skill, plus the difficulty of publication, the limited sales, 
and the author's purely local claim to fame (even this is apt 
to be denied if he has offended some of the local powers), 
have frequently turned the best talent away from local 

The history of Rowan County is not ideal, but it does 
include much that is interesting and useful. It is attractive 
in appearance, with an unusual jacket, numerous illustrations, 
some useful appendices, and an extensive bibliography. It is 
comprehensive in scope, includes chapters on social and 
economic life as well as political, and it is replete with the 
names of early settlers, important officials, and distinguished 
citizens. It is a much better balanced work than Jethro 
Rumple's History of Rowan County (1881; reprinted, 1929), 
which put the main emphasis on biographical material. 

426 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Among other things Mr. Brawley's work stresses the impor- 
tance of the early German and Scotch-Irish settlers, the fact 
that Salisbury was a western outpost, that the east-west con- 
flict had much to do with shaping the political interests of 
the section, and the place of transportation in the scheme of 
local development. Unfortunately there are no footnotes to 
indicate the sources of some important information, probably 
obtained from local records. More attention to literary form 
would have made for greater clarity and precision. Since 
Rowan County at one time included a large part of the west- 
ern half of the state, it would have been helpful if the author 
had indicated more exactly the area covered in any particular 
discussion, and this would be especially desirable when giving 
population figures and other statistics. Naturally the greater 
part of the story has to do with Salisbury and its immediate 
vicinity. The two folding maps, one by David A. Rendleman 
showing the location of the pioneer German settlers, and the 
other by William D. Kizziah showing early Rowan County, 
after Strother's map of 1808, are worthy of special mention. 
This is a bicentennial history, written by a native son, and 
dedicated to the late Kerr Craige Ramsay. 

Robert H. Woody. 
Duke University, 

Pardon and Amnesty under Lincoln and Johnson : The Restora- 
tion of the Confederates to their Rights and Privileges, 1861- 
1898. By Jonathan Truman Dorris. Introduction by J. G. 
Randall. (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina 
Press. 1953. Pp. xxi, 459. Bibliography and index. $7.50.) 

This volume is primarily concerned with the pardons and 
amnesties granted by or in accordance with Lincoln's procla- 
mation of December 9, 1863, and Johnson's four proclama- 
tions of May 27, 1865, September 7, 1867, and July 4 and 
December 25, 1868. There is also a discussion of Congres- 
sional efforts to curtail presidential amnesty and an analysis 
of the various congressional amnesty acts, the last of which 
was not passed until 1898, by which disabilities under the 

Book Reviews 427 

Fourteenth Amendment were removed from former Con- 
federates. Individual chapters are devoted to pardoning 
Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, and other sections treat 
specifically of the pardoning of Confederate cabinet members 
and other high civil officers. An illuminating chapter relates 
to pardon and amnesty in the courts. 

Of especial interest to the readers of this review is a chapter 
on "Pardoning North Carolinians," previously published in 
somewhat longer form in 1946 (North Carolina Historical 
Review, XXIII, 360-401 ) . In this are described the activities 
of W. W. Holden, John A. Gilmer, William A. Graham, 
Josiah Turner, Jr., Jonathan Worth, and Zebulon B. Vance 
during the period under discussion, and the interrelated prob- 
lems that arose in connection with the reconstruction of North 
Carolina. Here, as indeed in the work as a whole, much 
ground is covered that has already been explored in numerous 
works relating to the Civil War and Reconstruction periods; 
but it is convenient to have the subject of clemency treated in 
a compact and specific work like this one. The author has 
spent nearly thirty years on his subject, and he appears to 
have been the first to make use of the extensive Amnesty 
Papers, formerly in the custody of the State, War, and Justice 
Departments but now in the National Archives. 

It is unfortunate that so useful and handsome a book should 
be marred by so many typographical and other minor errors. 
In connection with North Carolina for instance, there occur 
B. S. "Hendrich" for Hedrick on page 151, although the name 
is spelled correctly on other pages (211, 212, 213) and in the 
index; and "Burton" Gaither for Burgess Gaither (p. 217 and 
index ) . A carelessly constructed sentence conveys the impres- 
sion that Kemp P. Battle delivered the address on "The Duties 
of Defeat" that Zebulon B. Vance made at the University of 
North Carolina commencement in 1866, and in addition 
Battle's History is cited as though it were a one-volume work 
(p. 202 ) . The misreading of "Dear Madam" as "Dear Mother" 
in a letter from Mrs. Richard S. Ewell to Mrs. Andrew Johnson 
(in the Southern Historical Collection, University of North 
Carolina ) trapped the author into describing this as "a pecul- 

428 The North Carolina Historical Review 

iar and incoherent letter," a description hardly sustained by 
an examination of its contents ( p. 162 ) . Similar instances of 
poor editing and hasty proofreading occur on various other 

James W. Patton. 
The University of North Carolina, 
Chapel Hill. 

Proceedings of the First Confederate Congress, Fourth Session, 
7 December, 1863—18 February, 1864. Edited by Frank E. 
Vandiver. Southern Historical Society Papers, No. LI. (Rich- 
mond: The Virginia Historical Society. 1953. Pp. VIII, 463.) 

This volume, the seventh of the series covering the proceed- 
ings and debates of the Confederate Congress, which was 
begun by the Southern Historical Society in 1923 with 
Douglas S. Freeman, George L. Christian, and H. R. Mc- 
Ilwaine as the committee of publication. It has been under- 
stood that editorial control was vested in Dr. Freeman, who 
became the sole survivor of the committee. He and Mr. 
J. Ambler Johnston constituted for some years the member- 
ship of the Society, and upon his death, Mr. Johnson re- 
quested the Virginia Historical Society to liquidate the 
resources of the organization which has now ceased to exist. 
The copy for the present volume and two more to follow was 
already prepared, and the projected fifty-second volume will 
complete the series. 

This present volume follows the plan of the previous ones. 
The debates are taken chiefly from the Richmond Examiner, 
with other newspapers, chiefly the Enquirer and Dispatch, 
being used to supply deficiencies. It gives a clear picture of 
the operations of Congress, quite as clear as is possible where 
no stenographic reports of the debates were made, and an 
equally clear view of many of the members. It reflects the 
growing dissatisfaction of Congress with the President and 
certain executive officers, with numerous high officers of the 
army, with army treatment of civilians, with the wholesale 
speculation, which disgraced the country, and with the result- 
ing problems of an inflated currency. 

Book Reviews 429 

The value of the work to historical investigators will be very 
great, for it gathers scattered material and makes available 
much information hitherto difficult to obtain. One can wish 
that the newspapers had printed or summarized more of the 
speeches, particularly those made by the rank and file of the 
members. Equally it is a matter of regret that the proceedings 
of the frequent secret sessions are not available, but, despite 
these deficiencies, the sum of information made conveniently 
available is impressive. 

Professor Vandiver, in a brief foreword, effectively points 
out the value of the contribution made by the publication. 

Investigators will look forward to the completion of the 

J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton. 
Chapel Hill. 

Americans Interpret Their Civil War. By Thomas J. Pressly. 
(Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press. 1954. Pp. xvi, 
347. $5.00.) 

The outstanding virtue of Mr. Pressly's study is that he 
shows how the varying interpretations of the coming of the 
Civil War are related to the social and economic conditions 
of the periods in which they were advanced. The Beardian 
point of view, for example, he observes, arose out of the 
Progressive Movement of the early twentieth century when 
historians with reformist tendencies, such as Charles A. 
Beard, were very critical of the control of big business over 
politics and were keenly aware of the working of economic 
forces behind the facade of politics. The interpretation of 
the causes of the War for Southern Independence by the 
Civil War generation extending to the 1880's naturally sought 
to place the war guilt on the opposing side. The southerners 
blamed the abolitionists as the responsible party and at the 
same time maintained secession to be a legal and constitu- 
tional act; the northerners attributed the war to a conspiracy 
of fire eaters and designated the secession movement as a 
rebellion. With the rise of the "New South" movement in the 
1880's and 1890's and the acceleration of industrialization, a 

430 The North Carolina Historical Review 

new spirit dominated the interpretation of the Civil War. 
The desire to reconcile the two sections and promote nation- 
alism, as well as the rise of the trained historian in this period 
led to a more objective writing of Civil War history and to 
an emphasis on great social forces rather than on evil in- 
dividuals as the cause of the conflict. 

One of the most interesting parts of this excellent study 
is an analysis of modern trends in the interpretation of the 
Civil War. During the decade of the 1920's and 1930's 
economic strains revised emotional tensions between the 
North and South, and there arose a school devoted to a new 
vindication of the South, the leaders of which were Charles 
W. Ramsdell and Frank L. Owsley. Also disillusionment over 
the results of World War I promoted a point of view ex- 
tremely hostile to war, an outlook which regarded the Civil 
War as "a needless war," thus returning to the interpretation 
of the Copperheads or Peace Democrats of the 1860's. The 
revisionists of recent days have denied that the Civil War 
was inevitable and have emphasized emotionalism, the 
blunders of leaders, and propaganda as prominent causes of 
the conflict. Mr. Pressly has written an acute and scholarly 
analysis of the various interpretations of the coming of the 
Civil War. The reviewer only wishes that such an intelligent 
student of this great national crisis had stated his own views 
of its origin. 

Clement Eaton. 

University of Kentucky, 

Florida Fiasco : Rampant Rebels on the Georgia-Florida Border, 
1810-1815. By Rembert W. Patrick. (Athens: University of 
Georgia Press. 1954. Pp. x, 359. $5.00.) 

Rarely does one encounter in title or subtitle such a happy 
combination of alliteration and accuracy as is seen in Rembert 
W. Patrick's detailed story of American efforts to acquire by 
any means, fair or foul, the Floridas in the five year period 
from 1810 to 1815. The always vacillating, and often Machia- 
vellian, policies of Madison and Monroe, alternately support- 

Book Reviews 431 

ing and disavowing the activities of the "Rampant Rebels on 
the Georgia-Florida Border," resulted in what has truly been 
termed a fiasco. 

When Kendrick C. Babcock about fifty years ago wrote 
The Rise of American Nationality, 1811-1819, he prefaced his 
second chapter with "The persistent desire of the United 
States to possess the Floridas, between 1801 and 1819, 
amounted almost to a disease, corrupting the moral sense of 
each succeeding administration." Florida Fiasco sustains this 
judgment. While the realpolitik of Madison and Monroe is 
by no means neglected, the main emphasis is placed upon 
the "Rampant Rebels" from the St. Marys southward. In- 
volved in this story are "governors and legislators of Southern 
states, frontiersmen and aristocrats, Indians and Negroes, 
smugglers and robbers, Spanish militiamen, and land-hungry 
American farmers." These diverse groups all appear in the 
Florida arena throughout the twenty-three chapters of 
Professor Patrick's study. Occupations, synthetic revolutions, 
bloody fights and evacuations are all minutely described. No 
encounters or skirmishes are too small or too remote to escape 
the author's attention. In fact, the criticism might be made 
that except for the local historian the accounts are too de- 

The central figure of the first nine chapters is General 
George Mathews, Revolutionary soldier, twice governor of 
Georgia, and Madison's agent in 1812. Of this "lovable old 
Irishman" the author is prone to write with great admiration. 
His attitude toward later actors in the drama is much more 

Florida Fiasco is the product of exhaustive research. Well 
over half of the footnotes are citations from unpublished 
sources. These include letters and reports from many manu- 
script collections in Washington as well as in Georgia and 
Florida. In an earlier work, Florida tinder Five Flags, the 
author was most generous in the matter of maps. It is to be 
regretted that the present work does not include at least one 
map. Point Petre, Picolatti, Cow Ford, Moosa Old Fort and 
Payne's town are mentioned many times and will be familiar 

432 The North Carolina Historical Review 

only to the specialist or local historian. The orthodox historian 
might object to the lengthy conversations, sometimes covering 
two or three pages, interpolated in the text, especially since 
it is not always clear to what extent they are verbatim reports 
or reconstructions (pp. 72-74, 130-132, 291-294, 314, 320, 
335 ) . On the whole, however, it is an excellent work. While its 
main value is probably in the complete survey of the exciting 
activities of the "Rampant Rebels" on the border, the Wash- 
ington angle is also both interesting and timely. At present 
when the United States is occupying the position of ethical 
arbiter in international affairs, it is well to recall that in the 
first decade and a half of the nineteenth century we were, 
diplomatically at least, not always in the category of Caesar's 

D. H. Gilpatrick. 

Furman University, 
Greenville, S. C. 

Planter Management and Capitalism in Ante-Bellum Georgia. 
By Albert Virgil House. (New York: Columbia University 
Press. 1954. Pp. xvii, 329. $4.75.) 

Within the last twenty years many valuable studies of rice 
culture along the South Atlantic coast have been published. 
Most of these studies have focused attention on the South 
Carolina tidewater where rice was first grown and most in- 
tensively cultivated. The volume under review deals with the 
cultivation, processing, and marketing of rice in Georgia. 
Since this area of rice culture has been neglected by his- 
torians, Professor House, with somewhat scanty but pertinent 
data, is warranted in publishing the results of his research in 
this region. 

Since rice was not cultivated on the Georgia coast until 
about 1830 and did not reach the peak of production until 
about 1850, the Georgia records available to students are not 
so numerous as those for South Carolina. Accordingly, the 
author has had to rely chiefly on the plantation journal and 
the account book of Hugh Fraser Grant, an Altamaha River 
planter, supplemented by the Manigault Plantation records 

Book Reviews 433 

and other related source materials in the Southern Historical 
Collection at The University of North Carolina. 

The first eighty-two pages of the book are devoted to a 
trenchant and illuminating description of the production and 
marketing of rice on the Georgia coast. The remaining 211 
pages of the text contain copies of the plantation journal of 
Hugh Fraser Grant together with accounts with factors, slave 
lists, crop summaries, accounts with overseers, field journals, 
tax returns and other miscellaneous items. Altogether, they 
constitute an impressive array. 

As to the planting, cultivation and harvesting of rice, the 
author has contributed little that is new. He has, however, 
explored new angles in his treatment of the capitalistic aspects 
of rice culture. As the writer points out (p. 70), "Too few 
writers have attempted to learn or to recount the sources of 
the factor's credit and supplies or the type of customers who 
bought the crops entrusted to him." He points up the opera- 
tions of the rice merchants and commission houses in purchas- 
ing rice of factors for speculative purposes. Furthermore, he 
reveals that as a result of the establishment of supply houses 
and banks in Savannah, which catered to the needs of the 
planters, the old style factors suffered a partial loss of their 
traditional functions. 

Professor House asserts, and we think correctly, that his 
study is unique in that it presents in the original Elizafield 
Journal of Hugh Fraser Grant (in the author's possession) a 
continuous record of the cultivation of separate rice fields over 
a period of years together with "complete and continuous 
records of financial transactions with factors" from 1839-1859. 

A cursory survey of the objective data spread on the pages 
of this book indicates that despite the mutations of the sea- 
sons, pests, floods, and sickness, rice planting under efficient 
management prior to 1860 was a profitable undertaking. 

The editorial work in this volume is generally satisfactory. 
One could wish, however, that the author had explained such 
terms as "Dashed for two days" (p. 134), "white gomased" 
(p. 131), and "the multicalis patch" (p. 131). 

The notes on sources and the directory of business firms 

434 The North Carolina Historical Review 

mentioned in the plantation documents constitute valuable 
explanatory aids. 

Rosser H. Taylor. 
Western Carolina College, 
Cullowhee, N. C. 

The Salzburgers and Their Descendants. By P. A. Strobel. With 
Foreword, Appendix and Index by Edward D. Wells, Sr. 
(Athens : The University of Georgia Press. 1953. Pp. vii, 318. 

Published in 1855 and reprinted in facsimile, this history 
of the Salzburgers is, in style and purpose, a spiritual exercise. 
The author, their pastor (1844-1849), sought to rescue these 
devout German settlers of Colonial Georgia from obscurity 
and, from their story, to point a moral for his day ( and ours ) , 
even as the original Salzburgers' example did in theirs. 

The Ebenezer settlement was a religious community, less 
pervasive in its influence than the Puritan Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts but not without effect. Its people contributed 
piety, industry, and sobriety to the land that offered them a 
home. Sponsored by the Society for the Propagation of 
Christian Knowledge and the Lutheran Church, and in 
accordance with the regulations of the Georgia Trustees, 
they conformed their lives to the Church's discipline under 
the leadership of pious and practical pastors. After initial 
hardships, they attained prosperity and supported religion 
and education, although schisms, indifference, and neglect 
were to come with the years. 

During the Revolution, many Salzburgers, some actively 
and prominently, sympathized with the Patriot cause; a few, 
including the disturbing Pastor Triebner, adhered to the 
British. Ebenezer was occupied by both sides and suffered 
depredations from Loyalist marauders, its church being used 
by the British as hospital and stable. Slowly the community 
recovered from material losses but continued to feel the 
effects of the corruption of morals and the decline of religion; 
and it was faced with problems of adjustment to a new age 
of freedom, Americanization, worldliness and emigration. 

Book Reviews 435 

Strobel consulted some of the sources available to him— a 
few histories, church documents, private journals and per- 
sons. Many of the local records were destroyed or scattered. 
Frequently he uses the frustrating words: "It has not been 
found practical to ascertain." The account is best for the early 
years and becomes quite sketchy for the period 1783-1855. At 
times moralizing replaces realistic portrayal of the daily life 
of the Salzburgers. There are a few notes but no specific 
references. Mr. Wells contributes a foreword, appendix (a 
marriage list) and index but no editorial emendations. 

As a tribute to a pioneering people and a source of some 
informative bits of social history, this book was worth writing 
and reissuing; one wishes that it could have been more 
adequately written and certainly more fully edited. 

Lawrence F. Brewster. 
East Carolina College, 
Greenville, N. C. 

The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Volume VIII, 25 February to 
31 October 1785. Edited by Julian P. Boyd, Mina R. Bryan, and 
Elizabeth L. Hutter. (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton Uni- 
versity Press. 1953. Pp. xxix, 687. Illustrations. $10.00.) 

The period covered by this volume of The Papers of 
Thomas Jefferson— February through October 1785— is an 
important one in the origins and foundations of American 
foreign policy. In March Thomas Jefferson was elected by 
the Congress to succeed Benjamin Franklin as American 
minister to France, and before the year had expired Franklin 
returned to the United States. In May John Adams left 
Fiance for London to assume his duties as minister to Great 
Britain. These three commissioners had much to do with the 
formulation of policy and the foreign relations of the new 

Many of the papers in the volume concern the efforts of 
the three commissioners to negotiate treaties of amity and 
commerce with European nations, which culminated in the 
signing of a commercial treaty with Prussia in September of 
1785. Another important diplomatic event was the negotiation 

436 The North Carolina Historical Review 

of a treaty with the Barbary states. The correspondence be- 
tween Jefferson and Adams, arranging for the mission of 
Thomas Barclay and John Lamb together with the official 
instructions and commissions presented by Barclay and Lamb 
as well as Jefferson's project for a treaty, are printed herein. 

Jefferson's personal correspondence with a wide range of 
people both at home and in Europe makes up a large part 
of the volume. It throws much light on public and private 
affairs in France and other foreign counties. In addition it 
helps to illuminate many phases of American life as well as 
Jefferson's views and philosophy. He and his American 
friends discuss art, literature, science, and education; agricul- 
ture, commerce, internal improvements, and land speculation; 
the amendment of the Articles of Confederation, organization 
of new western state governments, and state and federal 
governmental policies; manners, habits, and social customs; 
slavery and religion; national characteristics and the contrasts 
between the northern and southern states of the American 
Union. In fact there are few if any aspects of American life 
that are not touched upon in these letters. Particularly 
interesting are the letters of Jefferson and Abigail Adams 
which show the warm friendship between the two. So in- 
formal were they that Jefferson did not hesitate to ask Abigail 
to purchase for him in London a dozen linen shirts because 
they were much cheaper there than in Paris. Other interesting 
exchanges are between Jefferson and his American friends 
about Jean Antoine Houdon's statue of George Washington, 
the plans for the Virginia state Capitol, the sale of Virginia 
tobacco in France, and the publication of David Ramsay's 
"History of the Revolution." Every student of the period will 
find something of interest in this volume. 

Julian P. Boyd and his associates have maintained the high 
quality of editorial work which characterizes the earlier 
volumes of the set. 

Fletcher M. Green. 

The University of North Carolina, 
Chapel Hill. 

Book Reviews 437 

Baltimore as Seen by Visitors, 1783-1860. Studies in Maryland 
History, No. 2. By Raphael Semmes. (Baltimore: Maryland 
Historical Society. 1953. Pp. xi, 208. Illustrations.) 

The late Dr. Semmes's charming little book tells us that 
Baltimore, once the nation's third largest commercial port, 
exported enormous quantities of flour, tobacco, corn, salted 
meat, timber, and imported coffee, hides, sugar, guano, and 
copper on a large scale. European visitors, whether French 
emigres, English farmers, or German noblemen, were invari- 
ably impressed by the bustling harbor and the beautiful 
Baltimore clippers. Streets, buildings, monuments, and other 
points of interest were described, but of greater interest to 
visitors were celebrations, parties, people, and manners, Al- 
though Europeans could not condone the chewing of tobacco 
and bolting of meals, they did agree that Cheasapeake 
canvasback duck was justly famed as a delicacy. 

Some observers with a preconceived dislike for slavery 
shared the astonishment of C. D. Arfwedson when he found 
"the situation of a slave . . . far more degrading" or of L. B. 
Mackinnon who could "only refer to the happy, good-natured 
and 'devil-may-care' appearance of the slaves themselves." 
Present-day readers may be surprised to learn that during 
Baltimore elections in the Know-Nothing era "respectable 
citizens were driven from the polls" with "deadly weapons. . . 
placed at their heads." 

But the subject mentioned most frequently by ante-bellum 
visitors was the beauty of Baltimore women. Even Mrs. 
Matilda Houstoun, a critical English-woman, found their 
reputation for beauty well deserved and after further travel 
reported it a common saying that the greatest ambition of a 
Kentucky gentleman was "to have the surest rifle in his hand, 
the best horse in his stable, and a Maryland gal for his wife." 

The author found approximately two hundred diaries, 
memoirs, and reminiscences of travelers containing material 
on Baltimore between 1783 and 1860. All are listed in the 
bibliography and nearly half are mentioned in the text. Skill- 
fully blending statements of visitors with his own, Dr. Semmes 
has produced a collection of vivid pen pictures of Baltimore 

438 The North Carolina Historical Review 

and vicinity. He died before the publication of his work, but 
Mrs. Marguerite Harrison Blake has done a good job of 
preparing it for the press. 

Henry Smith S troupe. 
Wake Forest College, 
Wake Forest. 

Arthur Pue Gorman. By John R. Lambert. (Baton Rouge: 
Louisiana State University Press. 1953. Pp. ix, 397. $6.00.) 

Arthur Pue Gorman was a self-made man. With only one 
year of formal schooling, he rose from page in the United 
States Senate to Senate Postmaster, Collector of Internal 
Revenue in Maryland, member of the General Assembly in 
Maryland and member of the United States Senate. This 
remarkable rise to so influential and powerful a position was 
accomplished through a remarkably sound judgment of men 
and an ability to use them to his own advantage. By securing 
the election of the incumbent State Senator as Governor, 
Gorman made a place for himself in the State Senate of Mary- 
land. This maneuver involved support of another candidate 
for the United States Senate at the next election and again 
Gorman was successful in his candidate's behalf. But such 
manipulation was dangerous, and to protect his own interests 
Gorman next sought and obtained the governorship of Mary- 
land for another of his political allies. The General Assembly 
of Maryland in 1880 elected him United States Senator. 

The most fundamental characteristics of Gorman were his 
genuine conservatism and his love of harmony. Because of 
these two innate qualities, his political course was nearly 
always one of compromise, of concession to expediency. 
This was certainly true in the case of the tariff imbroglio in 
both of Cleveland's administrations as well as his policy with 
respect to the silver issue during the second term. His primary 
aim was to maintain party unity and thus prevent defeat at 
the polls. But Cleveland had his way in both cases and the 
Republicans had their issue. The result each time was Demo- 
cratic defeat. 

There are fifteen well-organized chapters which cover 

Book Reviews 439 

fully Gorman's life from his entry into politics. The treatment 
is sympathetic, but eminently fair both to Gorman and to his 
political associates. Professor Lambert has made a thorough 
study of the source material dealing with his subject. These 
include much that has never before been used. The work is 
well documented and includes a highly competent critical 
essay on authorities. The book is one of the Southern Bio- 
graphy Series. 

John Mitchell Justice. 
Appalachian State Teachers College 
Boone, N. C. 

The Territorial Papers of the United States : Volume XIX, The 
Territory of Arkansas, 1819-1825. Compiled and edited by 
Clarence Edwin Carter. (Washington: U. S. Government 
Printing Office. 1953. Pp. xiv, 1003. Maps, charts. $6.50.) 

The first of three which ultimately will encompass the en- 
tire Arkansas territorial period, this volume should prove of 
great value to students of the history of Arkansas and the 
trans-Mississippi South and West. All except 20 of the 777 
documents included have previously been available, only in 
the original in Washington. Most of the papers were chosen 
from official government files, but these have been supple- 
mented with pertinent selections from the Arkansas Gazette, 
the only newspaper in the territory during the period. Also 
included (and published for the first time) is the Executive 
Register of civil appointments, heretofore to be seen only in 
the original in Little Rock. 

The scope of the volume is wide. Documents on Indian 
affairs are most prevalent, followed closely in number by 
those concerning land matters— survey, sale, and administra- 
tion of public lands, and adjudication of land titles, often in 
dispute because of conflicting claims originating in the French 
and Spanish periods. Other subjects range as widely as the 
postal service, road and river transportation, salt works, the 
militia, and routine administrative problems. 

So rich a volume has many merits, but this reviewer, to 
whom the Arkansas territorial period has often seemed a his- 

440 The North Carolina Historical Review 

torical void spanned only by the thin files of the Arkansas 
Gazette, was especially impressed by the wealth of informa- 
tion concerning individuals. Many men known only imper- 
fectly in the recent past now begin to emerge in detail. 
Among such are Matthew Arbuckle, William Bradford, 
George Gray, Hartwell Boswell, William Russell, and Mat- 
thew Lyon, all storied frontier characters. And there are the 
lesser men— hundreds of them. No other source for this period 
contains such a mine of names. Even our co-laborers in the